Population Structure, Seasonal Activity, and Larval Density of the Hellbender, Cryptobranchus alleganiensis, in Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina

Principal Investigator: W. Jeffrey Humphries, Clemson University, Clemson, SC.

This project will address several questions that have remained unanswered pertaining to hellbenders in western North Carolina that are crucial to the species future conservation plans.

  1. What is the population size and density of hellbenders in the selected streams?
  2. How does population structure (ratio of adults, juveniles, and larvae; adult body size differences) relate to stream size and how does it vary among main stream stems and tributaries of the main stem?
  3. Is there a seasonal difference in nocturnal activity of hellbenders in the selected streams, and how does activity of southern Appalachian populations compare to activity reported in the central Appalachians?
  4. What are the best methods for detecting and monitoring larval and juvenile hellbenders?

Visit Jeff's Hellbender website.