Hellbender work

Conservation Blog

Hellbender work

The hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) is the oldest living amphibian in North America and is experiencing declines throughout its range in the eastern United States. This large salamander is a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service candidate for threatened species listing. As part of a headstart program, the Fort Worth Zoo received 20 hellbenders as small larvae in 2007 that were hatched from an egg mass in West Virginia. Four years later, those hellbenders were transferred to Purdue University for reintroduction in Indiana. In 2012, that same group of hellbenders was outfitted with internal radio transmitters and reintroduced. The transmitters track the salamanders in the wild in order to develop methodology for reintroducing this species into the wild.