The Ohio Hellbender Partnership
The Ohio Hellbender Partnership is made up of individuals from local, state, and federal agencies, zoos, land trusts, soil and water conservation districts, colleges and universities, and others dedicated to the conservation and recovery of the Eastern Hellbender salamander in Ohio.
The partnership meets regularly to review our activities, discuss opportunities, develop strategies, and to plan for future projects. To be effective in our shared goal requires cooperation from a wide range of interests. Partner activities have included:
- Statewide surveys to determine the distribution and status of the Hellbender.
- The development of a statewide plan for the recovery of the Hellbender.
- Health screenings of wild Hellbenders, including testing for Bd and using blood values to investigate stress.
- Investigating the anti-microbial properties of peptides and metabolites found on Hellbender skin.
- Developing and carrying out standardized habitat assessments to determine the suitability of areas for repatriation projects.
- Collecting eggs from the wild for head-starting at participating zoos.
- Deploying "Bender Huts," artificial shelters to act as Hellbender nests.
- Developing captive rearing protocols and husbandry standards for eggs, larvae, and juvenile Hellbenders.
- Working with the Prison Sustainability Program to head-start Hellbenders at the Marion Correctional Institute (Marion Star article; AP article).