The story of Sal the salamander and the Pear.
And he is the logo for the Liberty County Convention and Visitors Bureau. That orange lizard is our commercialized version of a very real animal that is indigenous to our area; an animal known as the Frosted Flatwoods Salamander.
In 1999, the Flatwoods Salamander was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Years later, in August of 2008, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services announced a change in classification of the salamander into two species; the Frosted Flatwoods Salamander and the Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander. The Frosted retained a status of ‘threatened’ while the Reticulated garnered a status of ‘endangered.’
Critical habitat for the Frosted Flatwoods Salamander has been found to be approximately 5,283 acres of occupied habitat on military lands in Georgia. Of these acres, 5,121 acres are located on Fort Stewart, which is an unrivaled haven for the Frosted Flatwoods Salamander due to its abundance of swampy marsh.
It breeds in small, shallow, short-lived ponds, generally characterized by a profusion of Cypress and Black Tupelo trees. Adults spend most of the year underground in burrows where they feed on a variety of small invertebrates.
They have a small, indistinct head, short legs, and a long, rounded tail. Typical coloration consists of a background of brownish black to purplish black overlaid with narrow gray or silvery white net-like markings, bands or diffuse spotting.
So, now that you know about our friend Sal, the Frosted Flatwoods Salamander, keep an eye out for him- the real thing and the commercialized version!