The Hellbender is a giant, aquatic salamander that has experienced severe population declines throughout its range. It is a sensitive species and there are a number of factors contributing to its declines. To help address the varied threats facing the Hellbender, Help the Hellbender has produced several new products focused on educating both stakeholders and the general public on ways that they can help protect hellbenders.
Help the Hellbender has updated our brochure on hellbender biology and created a series of videos focused and hellbender threats and the relevant stakeholders. The updated brochure expands on the previous edition by including updated information on hellbender biology and the many projects that groups around the country are involved in to help protect hellbenders. Our video series builds off of information in our brochure. The first in this series focuses on the basics of Hellbender population declines. Subsequent videos address practices aimed at improving water quality by implementing conservation practices at farms, livestock operations, and around sinkholes, and also how recreationists can avoid harming Hellbenders.
We have also published two lesson plans targeted at educators of K-5 students. Both lessons contain numerous activities to help keep students engaged while learning about hellbenders and the science of water quality and conservation. Hellbenders Rock! focuses on basic Hellbender biology and the threats that Hellbenders face. Hellbenders Rock! can be combined with the recently published Hellbender Havoc video game to further engage students in learning about hellbender biology and the importance of water quality. Hellbender Havoc is a free app available for download from iTunes and the Google Play Store. The Healthy Water, Happy Home lesson plan focuses on the importance of water quality and how it relates to people and wildlife. Both lesson plans meet Indiana academic standards.
All of our resources are free and can be found at The Education Store, the Purdue Extension resource center. The links are available below. For more information about Eastern Hellbenders and how you can help, please visit helpthehellbender.org.
Healthy Water, Happy Home Lesson Plan – The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
Hellbenders Rocks! Lesson Plan – The Education Store
Help the Hellbender, North America’s Giant Salamander – The Education Store
Hellbender Decline – Help the Hellbender, Youtube
How Anglers and Paddlers Can Help the Hellbender – The Education Store
Hellbender ID – The Education Store
Improving Water Quality Around Your Farm – The Education Store
Improving Water Quality at Your Livestock Operation – The Education Store
Improving Water Quality by Protecting Sinkholes on Your Property – The Education Store
Nick Burgmeier, Research Biologist & Extension Wildlife Specialist
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources
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