Eurycea – Brook salamanders

Lungless salamander native to North America

These salamanders, primarily found in some areas of North America, are known for their localized abundance in suitable habitats, often appearing in significant numbers in specific areas. Their presence is indicative of healthy and well-preserved aquatic ecosystems.

They can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, swamps, and streams. They are most active at night and spend the day hiding under rocks or logs. Eurycea salamanders are carnivorous and feed on insects, worms, and other small invertebrates.

Brook salamanders rely on cutaneous respiration, a process involving gas exchange through their skin and the mucous membranes in their mouth and throat. To facilitate this critical respiratory process, these amphibians must ensure that their skin and mucous membranes remain consistently moist. The need for a wet environment highlights their dependency on specific habitat conditions, including clean and unpolluted aquatic systems.

While brook salamanders are locally abundant in their suitable habitats, they are not immune to environmental threats and challenges. Several factors can impact their populations and lead to declines or local extirpation. Intensive timber harvest practices, alterations in land use, pollution of streams and water bodies, siltation from construction activities, and changes in soil chemistry due to phenomena like “acid rain” can all have adverse effects on brook salamander populations.