You likely have never heard of the Hellbender salamander and just as likely don’t care. This critter is about as ugly as one could imagine. They grow to two or more feet long, are slimy looking, and live in swift-flowing streams, rocky rivers and streams. They live up to 30 years and are harmless to humans. And guess what….. they have more DNA than about anything else on the planet.
And they are a canary in the coal mine. Their populations are diminishing at alarming rates. The reasons are habitat degradation and water quality. The likely candidates for water quality problems are agriculture chemicals including fertilizers and toxic pesticides.
So, we have a heads up on what we are doing to nature. It is time to reverse course.