A look at the hellbender, largest US salamander; rare animal fading away in parts of its range

July 10, 2014 6:14 AM

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The hellbender is North America's largest salamander and the third-largest salamander species in the world, after the Chinese giant salamander and the Japanese giant salamander. Its numbers are declining in nearly all 16 Eastern states in which it is found, and scientists say its disappearance could reflect a decline in the quality of the rivers and streams it lives in.

Hellbenders are found in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

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