Endangered Ozark Hellbender Breeds in Captivity For the 1st Time
by John Sullivan
“In my 24 years in the zoo business, this is one of the most exciting  periods I’ve been through so far,” says Jeff Ettling, curator of  herpetology and aquatics at the Saint Louis Zoo.
He’s talking about the birth of 185 baby Ozark hellbender salamanders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis bishopi) at the zoo’s Ron Goellner Center for Hellbender Conservation,  which has a dozen or so additional eggs ready to hatch. It’s the first  time that Ozark hellbenders have ever been bred in captivity.

(Hellbender in egg by Mark Wanner courtesy of Saint Louis Zoo)
The news—announced last week by the center and the Missouri Department of  Conservation—comes just two months after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife  Service (FWS) finally protected the amazing but increasingly rare  60-centimeter-long amphibians under the Endangered Species Act. After  decades of population declines due to pollution, the illegal pet trade,  and now the amphibian-killing chytrid fungus,  FWS estimates that there are just 590 or so of these creatures left in  the wild. North America’s largest salamanders, Ozark hellbenders live  exclusively in the rivers and streams of northern Arkansas and southern  Missouri.
(read more: Scientific American)  
(top photo: Hellbender by Jill Utrup via the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Endangered Ozark Hellbender Breeds in Captivity For the 1st Time

by John Sullivan

“In my 24 years in the zoo business, this is one of the most exciting periods I’ve been through so far,” says Jeff Ettling, curator of herpetology and aquatics at the Saint Louis Zoo.

He’s talking about the birth of 185 baby Ozark hellbender salamanders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis bishopi) at the zoo’s Ron Goellner Center for Hellbender Conservation, which has a dozen or so additional eggs ready to hatch. It’s the first time that Ozark hellbenders have ever been bred in captivity.

(Hellbender in egg by Mark Wanner courtesy of Saint Louis Zoo)

The news—announced last week by the center and the Missouri Department of Conservation—comes just two months after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) finally protected the amazing but increasingly rare 60-centimeter-long amphibians under the Endangered Species Act. After decades of population declines due to pollution, the illegal pet trade, and now the amphibian-killing chytrid fungus, FWS estimates that there are just 590 or so of these creatures left in the wild. North America’s largest salamanders, Ozark hellbenders live exclusively in the rivers and streams of northern Arkansas and southern Missouri.

(read more: Scientific American)  

(top photo: Hellbender by Jill Utrup via the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

  1. flauna reblogged this from rhamphotheca and added:
    rhampton why are you holding shit
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  5. nemertea reblogged this from rhamphotheca and added:
    OHMYGOD BABY HELLBENDERS. SO FUCKING CUTE I MAY HAVE JUST DIED.
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    the fantastic article (and fantastic news!) about the St. Louis Zoo’s Hellbender conservation and reintroduction...
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