Where did all the Hellbenders go?
Yue-Wern Huang, an associate professor of biology at Missouri S&T, is trying to figure out where all of the hellbenders went. The hellbender is one of the largest salamanders in the world. They once thrived in the pristine streams of the Ozarks and Appalachia. Now they're almost extinct.
It's increasingly hard to find them and catch them, but Huang has been taking blood samples from hellbenders for nine years to see if their chemistry is changing over time. His research is funded by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the Missouri Department of Conservation, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Saint Louis Zoo, and the Missouri Water Resources Center.