Mudpuppy Salamanders (family Proteidae), which are also simply known as Mudpuppies, are under threat. Although salamanders are thought of as cold-blooded and primitive, they are vertebrate animals that are sentient beings (just like dogs and cats), and are fully capable of experiencing pain and suffering. However, unlike the furry puppies that many of us call pets, the mudpuppies receive little attention or sympathy.
This is concerning as Mudpuppies face many threats. These animals are frequently caught by fishermen when the salamanders attempt to eat the baited hooks. When this occurs the mudpuppies end up sustaining extremely painful and even deadly injuries. Chemicals introduced into waterways from human settlements and activities can also cause death and declines in mudpuppies. Contaminants can also cause deformities and malformations to occur in these salamanders.
Sadly, salamanders as a whole are in terrible trouble. Around half of all the world’s salamander species are listed as Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). These species are all facing a high risk of extinction.
A further 62 species have been designated as Near-Threatened with populations that are dwindling. This means they are quickly getting closer to Threatened Status and to the brink of extinction. Sadly for some salamanders it is already too late, as both the Yunnan Lake Newt (Cynops wolterstorffi) and Ainsworth's Salamander (Plethodon ainsworthi) have already gone extinct; completely exterminated by the callous hands of humans.
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