Species that serve as indicators

Species that are environmental indicators. Some animals communicate when poisons are present. Indicator species reveal similar-habitat organisms.

Indicator species

River otters are a freshwater indicator species. River otters are susceptible to food chain issues, hence water contamination can cause population declines.

River otters 

Their decline is linked to environmental health. Without nesting supplies, the bird can't reproduce and survive. More spotted owls indicate healthy old-growth forests.

Spotted Owl

Salmon live in fresh and saltwater at different stages. Salmon populations drop when ecologies are disturbed. A new dam or habitat damage may cause their demise.


Salamanders have porous skin. Skin moisture keeps them alive and healthy, yet it can absorb contaminants. Drought affects salamanders.


Light pollution, metals, and drought kill bats. With habitat degradation, they're more likely to spread diseases. They're studying climate change in Yellowstone.


Mussels are indicator species due of their unique filter. Sedentary species can reveal poisons in streams. Water conditions affect mussels.


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