hellbender

Ozark Rivers - Management
6:03 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Political Battle Over Ozark National Park Heats Up

This photo of the Current River is from the cover of the National Park Service's draft management plan for the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.
National Park Service

(Updated at 3:39 p.m., February 20)

Missouri senators passed a resolution to block the federal government's proposed changes in tourist restrictions at the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. The resolution passed on a 23-8 vote on Thursday and now heads to the House.

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Conservation - Endangered Species
10:42 am
Thu November 1, 2012

More 'Baby Giants' Arrive At The Saint Louis Zoo

Endangered Ozark hellbenders can reach up to two feet in length. A shy species, it spends much of its time hiding under rocks on the stream bottom.
Jill Utrup/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Saint Louis Zoo once again is teeming with baby giant salamanders.

For the second year in a row, the zoo has successfully bred endangered Ozark hellbenders in captivity.

This time, a total of eight females laid 2,809 fertile eggs. Two-hundred and fourteen salamander larvae have hatched so far, with many more expected.

Even though the salamanders are smaller than a quarter when they first hatch, as adults they can reach lengths of up to two feet.

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Hellbender Song
2:16 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

Endangered hellbender salamander inspires song

Adult Ozark hellbenders can reach up to two feet in length.
(Jeff Briggler, Missouri Department of Conservation)

You may remember our story about the St. Louis Zoo successfully breeding an endangered giant salamander. Now the hellbender is being honored in song:

The St. Louis band FIRE DOG is offering its hellbender song as a free download on Sunday in honor of Earth Day.

In the meantime, here are the lyrics:

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Animals
4:18 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Zoo Crafts Love Nest To Save Ozark's Salamanders

An adult Ozark hellbender is typically brown or green with black markings that help it blend in with its rocky river-bottom habitat.
Jeff Briggler Missouri Department of Conservation

Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 5:27 pm

It's flat. It's slimy. And it hides under rocks on the river bottom. It's the Ozark hellbender, and at up to two feet in length, it's one of the world's largest salamanders.

But Ozark hellbenders are disappearing: Fewer than 600 are left in the rivers of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. Scientists have been making a huge effort to get them to breed in captivity. And now, thanks to a major effort at the Saint Louis Zoo, 2012 could be the year of new hope for hellbenders.

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Conservation - Endangered Species
11:25 am
Wed November 30, 2011

Breeding program at St. Louis Zoo gives hope for giant Ozark salamander

For the first time ever, an endangered amphibian found only in a few Missouri and Arkansas counties has been successfully bred in captivity.

Officials with the St. Louis Zoo and Missouri Department of Conservation said Wednesday that 63 Ozark hellbenders have been bred at the zoo. The first hatched on Nov. 15, and an additional 120 eggs are expected to hatch within the next week.

The breeding is the result of a decade-long collaboration of the zoo and the conservation department. 

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Conservation - Endangered Species
2:23 pm
Wed October 5, 2011

Giant Ozark salamander now officially endangered

Ozark hellbenders are a subspecies found only in Missouri and Arkansas.
(Jill Utrup, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has listed the Ozark hellbender as a federally endangered species that cannot be harmed, killed, or bought and sold as a pet.

The Ozark hellbender is found only in the streams of the White River system in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.

Ozark hellbender populations have dropped by 75 percent since the 1980s, with fewer than 600 remaining in the wild.

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