Who needs eyes when you live your entire life underground and underwater!? Earlier this month, our biologists were in San Marcos, Texas surveying the federally endangered Texas blind salamander. It's only found in the Edwards Aquifer (an underground rock formation holding groundwater).
This aptly-named amphibian only lives in Texas and is indeed blind! It has pigmented eye spots (not true eyes). This lightly-pigmented salamander hunts invertebrates, including snails and shrimp, based on wave movements in the water. Adults can grow up to 6-inches long.
Protecting rare amphibians like the Texas blind salamander safeguards clean water. Amphibians - which include frogs, newts, toads, and salamanders - are sensitive wildlife. When they decline in population size, it can be a sign that something is wrong in the environment.
We work with public and private partners across the United States to ensure America’s diversity of wildlife, fishes, and plants continue to thrive in the wild for future generations.