Ancient, Slippery, Enormous 'Snot Otters': Looking for Hellbender Salamanders
Photo: REBECCA JACOBSON/PBS NEWSHOUR
In Search of Salamanders
Matt Neff, left, and Kim Terrell from the Smithsonian's National Zoo trudge through the rivers of southwestern Virginia in search of hellbender salamanders. In the eastern United States they range from Midwestern states like Ohio and Indiana to Pennsylvania and as far south as Georgia.
But the salamanders are disappearing. The Missouri Department of Conservation estimates that the population in their region has declined by 75 percent since the 1980s due to decline in water quality, loss of habitat and poaching.
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