The Last Dragons: Protecting Appalachia’s Hellbender

Here is something to think about next time you go fishing in the Appalachians. The “hellbender” is a two foot long salamander that is at risk of becoming threatened mainly because of habitat loss in its native range. The hellbender makes its home amongst the gaps in rocks on free flowing streams and rivers, but is currently at risk due to siltation and humans moving rocks for tubing and dam creation. It requires almost pristine water conditions, and is a good indicator species for at-risk bodies of water. When you’re out on the water, don’t move rocks!

Produced by Freshwaters Illustrated in partnership with the US Forest Service.