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Stories from - MISSOURI

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Recovering Aquatic Life in Missouri

Sculpted by 110,000 miles of rivers and streams, and over 3,000 springs, Missouri is blessed with an abundance of water. People and wildlife have a critical need in common—good water quality... Read More

Stories from - MISSOURI

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Hope on the Horizon for the Endangered Scaleshell Mussel

Preventing extinction of threatened and endangered species is always challenging, but consider the obstacles when the species is extremely difficult to find... Read More

Featured Species in Missouri

Ozark Hellbender

The Ozark hellbender is the largest North American amphibian and is found in rivers and streams in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri.

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Ozark Hellbender.

Photo credit: Jeff Briggler, Missouri Department of Conservation

Winged mapleleaf.

The range of the winged mapleleaf once included 13 states where it was found in nearly all rivers and streams feeding into the Mississippi River and in one river flowing into the Missouri River. Today however, the mussel can only be found in limited areas of five rivers in the Midwestern United States.

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Winged mapleleaf.

Photo credit: Phil Delphey, USFWS

photo credit: USFWS

Neosho National Fish Hatchery

Conserving a Missouri River dinosaur and an eyeless ghost fish—all in a day's work at Neosho National Fish Hatchery. Neosho National Fish Hatchery is the oldest operating federal fish hatchery in the U.S. Over 130 species of cold, cool, and warm water fish have been produced at the hatchery since it was established in 1888.

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Neosho National Fish Hatchery.

Photo credit: USFWS

Partnership Stories in Missouri

Ozark hellbender. Photo credit: Mark Wanner

World's First Captive Hellbender Breeding

In November 2011, the Saint Louis Zoo's Ron Goellner Center for Hellbender Conservation and the Missouri Department of Conservation announced that Ozark hellbenders have been bred in captivity—a first for this federally endangered species. This decade-long collaboration has yielded 165 baby hellbenders to date. More »

Found in Missouri

  • Running buffalo clover. Photo credit: Melanie Cota, USFWS

    Running buffalo clover (Trifolium stoloniferum) is a perennial species found in Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, and West Virginia. Running buffalo clover may have depended on bison to periodically disturb areas and create habitat, as well as to disperse its seeds. As bison were eliminated, vital habitat and a means of seed dispersal were lost.

    Photo credit: Melanie Cota, USFWS

  • Ozark Hellbender. Photo credit: Jeff Briggler, Missouri Department of Conservation

    Ozark Hellbenders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis bishop) are large, strictly aquatic salamanders found only in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. Their flattened body shape enables them to move in fast flowing streams. Cool, clear water is important because hellbenders breathe entirely through their skin. They have lungs, but rely on thousands of capillaries found in the fleshy folds of their skin to get oxygen from the water. Impoundments, ore and gravel mining, sedimentation, and nutrient and toxic runoff have degraded hellbender habitat.

    Photo credit: Jeff Briggler, Missouri Department of Conservation

See other species listed in Missouri
Last updated: June 4, 2020