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The Eastern Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) is one of only two completely aquatic salamanders found in the state of Ohio. Within the state it has historically been found in nearly all of the major systems draining into the Ohio River.

In order to maintain viable populations of the hellbender in Ohio, four recommendations are made:
1) Support conservation efforts in areas where viable populations currently exist;
2) Increase the use of existing conservation programs to protect hellbender habitat;
3) Investigate the feasibility of a repatriation/augmentation program for hellbenders in Ohio; and,
4) Continue to conduct mark-recapture surveys to monitor populations, collect demographic and growth data, and provide on-the-ground outreach and early detection of potential threats.

The Ohio Hellbender Partnership consists of representatives of the Ohio Division of Wildlife, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, several Ohio Zoos (Columbus Zoo, the Wilds, Toledo Zoo, Akron Zoo), the Ohio EPA, local soil and water conservation districts, and college/university researchers and students. We have been meeting regularly since the completion of statewide surveys to discuss strategies for reversing the decline of the hellbender in Ohio.
More information about Hellbenders in Ohio can be found at Greg Lipps’ site.

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