Hellbender PHVA (2006)

(excerpt from report Executive Summary)

The hellbender is a giant, long-lived salamander native to cool, fast-flowing streams of central
and eastern U.S. Once common, hellbender populations in some areas have declined by 77%
since the 1970s, likely due to a combination of factors such as declining water quality, siltation
from human activities, direct collecting, persecution, etc. In addition, emerging diseases, such as
chytrid fungus, (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis), has recently been observed in parts of the
species’ range that may also be contributing to the decline. In some areas, juvenile recruitment
appears to be low, resulting in populations composed primarily of adults. At the request of the
Saint Louis Zoo’s Wildcare Institute, the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG)
facilitated a PHVA for the Ozark (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis bishopi) and Eastern hellbender
(C. a. alleganiensis) on 7-10 August 2006. Thirty workshop participants worked to explore
threats to hellbender populations and develop management actions aimed at understanding and
halting this precipitous decline.

North America
Document Type: 
PHVA Reports