How protecting water and land on Covey Hill helps Quebec’s Salamanders

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Deep in the knolls of Quebec’s Covey Hill are underground water sources flowing through the surface of the land. These streams and rivers provide habitat for many animals, including all 10 of the salamander species that live in the province.

Covey Hill peat bog

Just like humans, not all salamanders are the same. Some live directly in the water their entire life, such as the common mudpuppy, while others, such as the red-backed salamander, live almost entirely on land.

Spring salamander

In the middle of this range are stream salamanders. These salamanders have no lungs, breathing instead through their skin and the roof of their mouth. They live close to water and must keep their skin moist at all times to support their breathing.

Protecting habitat is important to ensuring these salamanders have a place to sleep, eat and raise their families. Unfortunately, three of Canada’s four species of stream salamanders are considered to be at risk due to their habitat changing and disappearing. These species are very sensitive to changes in their habitat, including stream flow, water quality and quantity. Pollution also affects these populations, as unhealthy ecosystems can alter the survival of salamander larvae.

Mountain dusky salamander, Covey Hill

The Allegheny mountain dusky salamander is a species unique to Quebec, and one that lives at Covey Hill. The only other place in Canada where they can be found is the Niagara Escarpment in Ontario. Protecting the springs and streams where this species lives is important to ensuring this species has a place to find food, reproduce and move around.

NCC has conserved 274 acres in Covey Hill including a peat bog found at the top of Covey Hill, a wetland with a high volume of moss and decomposing plants, to protect habitat that is essential to many species of salamanders like the Allegheny mountain dusky salamander. The peat bog has built up over thousands of years and stores rainwater in layers of moss. This stored water feeds an underground network of springs where salamanders live in the foothills of Covey Hill. This peat bog also provides unique habitat to the four-toed salamander that lays its eggs in the sphagnum moss.

Covey Hill peat bog

Thank you for helping the Nature Conservancy of Canada protect important salamander habitat in Covey Hill.

Ready to start your next Bring Back the Wild campaign but not sure which project to choose? If you want to help protect an animal that…

  • Has the amazing ability to re-grow its limbs if they’re lost or damaged
  • Can defend itself by secreting a powerful poison through its skin
  • Has 21 species native to Canada, with nearly half relying on Covey Hill to survive

…then look no further! Start your Bring Back the Wild campaign and join Earth Rangers and the Nature Conservancy of Canada to help protect these amazing amphibians today!

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