Conservation of Hellbenders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis)

by Jeff Humphries, hellbenders.org

There is no doubt that hellbender populations have declined dramatically over the past several centuries, especially during the 1900’s.

Unfortunately, biologists don’t have much baseline data to go on - we don’t know how widespread hellbender populations were in the past because no one was studying hellbender populations in the 17- or 1800’s, or even into most of the 1900’s for that matter. It is clear, however, that hellbenders have declined in many stream over the past few decades and they are gone from large areas where good habitat probably once existed.  

The good news is that there are still some very good hellbender streams remaining, mainly in Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Several good streams also remain in some parts of Pennsylvania. Populations in the Ozark Mountains are nearly gone, or have drastically declined.  

The only logical strategy now is to try to make sure that good streams remain good streams. This will take a lot of effort and careful planning in the way we as humans develop or protect landscapes…

(Find out more about the Hellbender Conservation)

(photo: Jeff Humphries)

  1. lenieclarke reblogged this from earthandscience
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  6. wildrejoicingwaters reblogged this from rhamphotheca and added:
    And the Blue River in southern Indiana! :)
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  14. juliaawkward reblogged this from deusdefantasia and added:
    i have an irrational fear of these things.
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  21. mo-mtn-girl reblogged this from rhamphotheca and added:
    I really hope we get permission to play/research with these eventually!
  22. zeroodd reblogged this from rhamphotheca
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  24. bearbah reblogged this from rhamphotheca and added:
    top 5 favorite animal hands down
  25. nataliesnonsense reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  26. tothedarktower reblogged this from rhamphotheca and added:
    I feel so lucky that I saw one in the wild as a child
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