Much larger than any other salamanders in their range, hellbenders are most closely related to giant Japanese and Chinese salamanders (which can grow up to six feet long).
Hellbenders feed on crayfish and small fish in rocky, swift-flowing rivers in a host of Eastern states. This week, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo announced that it re-introduced 38 of the rare animals into streams in western New York.
The hellbender is an important part of our state’s aquatic biodiversity and it’s clear that we have to take dramatic steps to ensure its continued presence in New York.
Not many people have seen a hellbender in the wild, because they are fully aquatic and like to hide under large rocks. The narrow edge along the dorsal surface of their tails helps propel them through the water, according to the Bronx Zoo. Water CurrentsThe goal of Water Currents is to bring together diverse voices to discuss pressing issues in freshwater. Help Save the Colorado RiverBy promising to conserve water you can help restore freshwater ecosystems. Some 170,000 have already cut their water footprint, and, with conservation partners, Change the Course has restored more than 4 billion gallons to the Colorado River Basin. Perspective: What Will Happen When the Aquifers Run Dry?If you think the water crisis can't get worse, wait until the aquifers are drained. The might Colorado, the life and soul of the West, is one of the most tapped rivers in the world. Modern technology over the past few years has allowed us to bring you deeper into expeditions than ever before. Join us for a Google+ Hangout on Air at 10:00am EDT on Friday, August 22, 2014 to be a part of the conversation and see this hidden Eden for yourself. While Africa is where we find the earliest traces of human activity, it is also the place where the large animals that once roamed widely on all continents now make their last stand. The expedition will be led by South African conservationist Steve Boyes, and include Adventurers & Scientists for Conservation founder Gregg Treinish, data artist and educator Jer Thorp, and engineer and ocean conservationist Shah Selbe.
This kind of dedication paid off earlier this year when the Okavango was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mission of the Okavango Wilderness Project is to secure the Okavango Delta and its vast untouched catchment in perpetuity. The Okavango 2014 team joined viewers around the world for a Google+ Hangout on Air on Friday, August 22, 2014, answering questions, showing off their amazing surroundings, and telling stories of their adventure. Born and raised in South Africa, National Geographic Emerging Explorer Steve Boyes has dedicated his life to restoring and preserving Africa's wilderness areas and the species that call them home. Okavango Delta Traverse (August 2014)For the first time ever a group of National Geographic explorers will be sharing their every move, their research, what they are seeing, what they are hearing, their very heartbeats, and their thoughts and tweets in real-time via satellite while exploring one of the world’s richest wilderness areas, Botswana’s Okavango Delta.
Into the OkavangoFollow the Okavango expedition via data uploaded daily to satellite by the team in the Delta. A wolf looks over the cold landscape as Rolf Peterson researches wolf populations and ecology in Michigan, United States. A camera mounted on a remote-controlled car captures an adult male lion at rest in the Serengeti plains.
Logging in Transylvania, Romania, threatens the Carpathian ecosystem, home to many roe deer.

National Geographic grantee and photographer Paul Colangelo is documenting the eulachon fish, which was traditionally an important food source for coastal First Nations of British Columbia, Canada. Also known as candlefish, eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus) are so oily that they can ignite when dried. While the battle for the Iron Throne continues in the fictional Seven Kingdoms, we can all help write a happy ending for these species in our real-life animal kingdom. Learn more about our grants and how to apply for funding. National Geographic VoicesResearchers, conservationists, and others around the world share stories and commentary on the National Geographic Society's conversation platform Voices.
Society Field Inspection 2016: Gulf of CaliforniaDescribed by Jacques Cousteau as the "aquarium of the world," the Gulf of California in Mexico is threatened by coastal development, climate change, and other human activities.
Support National GeographicWe've supported more than 11,000 grants to scientists and others in the field.Learn more about our work.
Two years after being discovered deep in a South African cave, the 1,500 fossils excavated during the Rising Star Expedition have been identified as belonging to a previously unknown early human relative that National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Lee Berger and team have named Homo naledi.
With at least 15 individuals of all ages and both sexes represented, the find adds an unprecedented amount of information to our understanding of early human evolution in Africa. In addition, the absence of any other animal remains or large debris in the fossil chamber strongly suggests that these non-human beings intentionally deposited their dead within this cave. BANABA ISLAND, Kiribati—Asbestos dust covers the floors of Banaba’s crumbling colonial houses, buildings, and schools.
If anyone holding the copyright to any of the images on this website objects to their presence here please contact us and the offending images will be removed immediately. Hellbenders’ flat bodies average about two feet (60 centimeters) in length, but have been known to reach lengths up to 30 inches (74 centimeters). They have an unusual means of respiration that involves gas exchange through capillaries found in their dorsoventral folds.
Numerous studies over the past decade have shown that there are few young hellbenders available to join the breeding population.
As in much of their range, the giant salamander has declined there thanks to disease, pollution, and loss of habitat.
We are particularly interested in water consumption, locally and globally, and restoration and conservation of freshwater ecosystems.
For every pledge, Change the Course will restore 1,000 gallons back to the Colorado River. The water the dinosaurs drank millions of years ago is the same water that falls as rain today.
Using Google+ Hangouts, we’ve connected people around the world at home, (probably also at work), on desktops, laptops, and mobile phones and tablets, with explorers deep in a Maya cave, at Base Camp on Everest, in the Aquarius underwater lab, on all seven continents, and even had a message from the International Space Station. These four creative pioneers in different fields all came together when named National Geographic Emerging Explorers in 2013. They have unique cultures and as far as i know only very few anthropologists worked with Kavango peoples. They loose their languages, traditions,tribal customs (for example 100 years ago Hambukushu had a coming of age ceremony for boys.
The National Geographic film Okavango is a rallying point for the global community of stakeholders, government officials, researchers, activists, tourism operators, community members, conservationists and guides that support the protection of the Angolan catchment. This team of baYei River Bushmen, scientists, data artists, writers, photographers, bloggers, naturalists and conservation engineers will be taking the very pulse of Africa’s last-remaining wetland wilderness.

Data is also available through a public API, allowing anyone to re-mix, analyze, or visualize the collected information. Food loss due to farming and grazing activities in the Succulent Karoo Biome, as well as population decline from illegal collection for the pet trade, threaten this species. Warmer weather means less ice, allowing unrelated wolves from the mainland to bring in new genes, so this unique pack is dwindling rapidly. National Geographic Emerging Explorer Shivani Bhalla is a fourth-generation Kenyan, a biologist, and the founder of the Ewaso Lions project.
National Geographic grantee Victoria Hillman and her team are working to document this region, through camera traps and data plotting, to better understand and protect the vulnerable wildlife of the region. Posters and commenters are required to observe National Geographic's community rules and other terms of service.
To learn firsthand what's going on in and around this marine treasure of global importance, the National Geographic Society sent its top scientists and officials to the region in January 2016.
This ‘head-starting’ program will enable us to release young hellbenders back to the wild at a life-stage that may enable them to survive and thrive in New York. Steve’s passion and years-long dedication to the Okavango inspired the others, who soon realized that together they could make an even bigger impact to explore and protect this land while educating the world about its wonders. Readers can help build up to our 8-week expedition over 1,000 miles down the length of the Okavango River in 2015 by sharing this epic, once-in-a-lifetime research and conservation expedition down the full length of the Okavango River through an abandoned wilderness into the Delta.
This ground-breaking expedition launches on the 17th August and will most likely finish on the 3rd September… Join us and meet the expedition team at They will travel like baYei River Bushmen and be subject to the dangers of encountering the worlds largest-remaining populations of elephants, thousands of hippos, 15–foot crocodiles, and some of the last–remaining super–prides of lions on Earth.Click here for more information. While the houses in the series are vying for a seat of power, their real-world animal counterparts are fighting for survival.
National Geographic grantee Rolf Peterson is studying how to save this population in a changing ecosystem. First Nation communities are researching why the fish populations have declined and how they might be saved. They toured the desert islands off the southeastern coast of the Baja Peninsula and they listened to presentations by more than a dozen experts, including several whose Baja California research is funded by the Society. We deeply appreciate the support of WCS, the Bronx Zoo and the Buffalo Zoo as conservation partners in the recovery of this iconic salamander. Our explorers are working to raise awareness and protect these species before time runs out.
Programs promote human-carnivore coexistence, provide education, and build local capacity for wildlife rangers and community rangers.
This is one of the last places on Earth where modern humans can witness the balance of wild animals and landscape that preceded our era of construction and domestication.

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