In an effort to avoid a “salamandergeddon” in the United States, the extinction of entire species of salamanders and other amphibians by a fungal disease known as Bsal, the U.S. banned the import of more than 200 species of salamanders that are native to other parts of the globe. The infection effects their skin, and “for amphibians like frogs and salamanders, skin acts as more than just a protective covering. It’s their respiratory system. It’s their excretory system too…”

A fascinating takeaway from Vox’s Save the salamanders, unsung heroes of the forest: North America is home to around 50% of all salamander species on the planet, making them an essential part of forest food chains, both as a food source and as a predator of bugs and worms.

Watch these next: Chinese Giant Salamander, Home Sweet Habitat & Food Webs, Why is biodiversity so important?, Feedback loops – How nature gets its rhythms, and Dead stuff – The secret ingredient in our food chain.

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