Monday, November 03, 2014

Mountaintop removal endangering salamander species native to Central Appalachia

Mountaintop removal in Appalachia is endangering the region's freshwater species, especially the five salamander species native to the area, says a study by the University of Kentucky, Richard Conniff reports for TakePart. Researchers compared the number of salamanders downstream from mountaintop removal sites with the number of salamanders in undisturbed areas. They found 97 salamanders in 11 streams with mountain rubble and 807 in a dozen control streams. (Christian Oldham photo: Red salamander)

Tierra Curry, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity, told Conniff, “It makes sense that amphibians would be very sensitive to the water pollution from surface coal mining. It increases the saltiness of the water; it puts metals into the water.” (Read more)

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