Midwest Region Endangered Species Conserving the nature of America

Endangered Species Program

 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Endangered Species program is conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems.

 

 

 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife

Service in the Midwest

 

The Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. Find a location near you.

 

The Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.
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Ozark Hellbender

Cryptobranchus alleganiensis bishopi

 

Ozark hellbender in the hands of a researcher.

Photo by Jill Utrup; USFWS

 

The Ozark hellbender is a strictly aquatic amphibian found in Ozark streams of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. This subspecies of hellbender is listed as endangered because a rapid decline in numbers and range have left only small, isolated populations. Also, the hellbenders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis), including both the Ozark hellbender and the eastern hellbender, have been included in Appendix III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to protect both subspecies from declines due to international trade.

 

Ozark Hellbender

Photo by Missouri DOC; Jeff Briggler

 

Status: Endangered; Listed October 6, 2011 (links to PDF of the Federal Register final rule)

 

Habitat: Streams of the Ozark plateau in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.

 

Lead Region: 3

 

Region 3 Lead Office: Columbia ES, Missouri Field Office

 

Range: Arkansas, Missouri

 

Multi-media

Podcast

Sarah Leon talks to FWS biologist Trisha Crabill about Ozark hellbender life history and conservattion.

Audio Clip

 

 

Video

Hellbenders Rock! by the Center for Biological Diversity http://youtu.be/d9uxJZwlwNs 

 

Raising Hellbenders at the Saint Louis Zoo

 

 

 

Natural History Information

Ozark hellbeders need cool, clear streams and rivers with many large rocks. 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. Larvae and small hellbenders hide beneath large rocks and also small stones in gravel beds. Adults spend most of their life under large, flat rocks that shelter them.

 

Ozark Hellbender Fact Sheet

 

Ozark Hellbender: Out from Under a Rock PDF Adobe Acrobat icon: pages 22 to 24 from the Endangered Species Technical Bulletin, Spring 2008.

 

Life History is summarized in the Final Rule to List as Endangered

 

 

Recovery

Recovery planning focuses time, money, and energy on priority conservation actions to address threats and restore numbers.

 

Helping Hellbenders (July 2015 Inside Region 3)

 

Ozark Hellbender Recovery Plan Outline (June 2012) (13-page PDF Adobe Acrobat icon)

 

World's First Captive Hellbender Breeding

 

Ozark Hellbender Action Plan (7-page PDF )

 

 

Listing Information

The Ozark hellbender was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act on Oct. 6, 2011.

 

News Release (Oct. 5, 2011): U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists the Ozark Hellbender as Endangered and Moves to Include Hellbenders in Appendix III of CITES

 

Summary of the Rule to List the Ozark Hellbender as Endangered (Oct. 2011)

 

Federal Register Final Rule (Oct. 6, 2011): Endangered Status for the Ozark Hellbender Salamander (94-page PDF)

 

Federal Register Final Rule (Oct. 6, 2011): Inclusion of the Hellbender, Including the Eastern Hellbender and the Ozark Hellbender, in Appendix III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) (30-page PDF)


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