This week along Missouri’s streams, ponds, swamps, wetlands, and ditches, watch for salamanders undergoing a life-changing transformation…
Nearly 50-species and subspecies of salamanders live in Missouri. With bodies that look like lizards, but skin like frogs, salamanders rely on clean, fresh water for the first stage of their lives as gilled, aquatic larvae.
This week, some salamander species are metamorphosing into adult amphibians that live mostly on land and breathe air. Like tadpoles become frogs, salamanders transform from swimming juveniles, to four-legged adults that can live on land and in water.
Salamanders eat insects, worms, and slugs, and salamander eggs and juvenile forms provide an important food source for many other animals.
Amphibian populations are declining, and a fifth of our salamanders have been declared Species of Conservation Concern in Missouri.
Protecting our groundwater quality, and sensitive habitats is critical for their survival.
Watch for young salamanders transforming into adults this week in nature, and learn more about how to protect the places they live at missouriconservation.org.
Discover Nature is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation.