One of the main problems facing eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) conservation is that many people mistake this endangered salamander for another common species called a mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus). Conservationists and researchers encourage any outdoor enthusiasts to report eastern hellbender sightings by going to helpthehellbender.org or by reporting to a conservation officer. Unfortunately, many hellbender sightings are actually mudpuppy sightings. This can cause confusion in conservation efforts, so the need for public education on hellbender identification is strong.
We have created the “Eastern Hellbender ID Video” to teach people: