species of salamanders occur in Illinois. Because of their secretive
and mainly nocturnal habits, they are observed less often than our
state's other amphibians, the frogs and toads. Terrestrial
salamanders live in forests in underground burrows, in or under rotting
logs, under rocks and leaves, and around springs and streams. They
venture out of these places only at night or following heavy rainfall.
Larvae and aquatic adults live in rivers, creeks, lakes, ponds, swamps,
and ditches. Salamanders are predators of earthworms, snails, and
invertebrates. A few salamanders also eat small vertebrates, including
other salamanders. In turn, they are consumed by a variety of fishes,
small mammals, birds, snakes, and invertebrates. Terrestrial salamanders
use their thin skin for respiration,
which requires that they live in moist surroundings. The chief conservation
concerns for Illinois salamanders are habitat fragmentation
and habitat loss.