Ever hear of the giant eastern hellbender? North America's largest salamander? It turns out these salamanders - that can grow up to 2 feet and live to see 2 decades - have become extremely rare since the 1990s.
A few have been found in the clean streams of the central Appalachians and the upper Susquehanna watershed (NYS & PA). Lycoming College's Peter Petokas will discuss this unique amphibian and how his team is helping to bring it back into abundance.
Peter Petokas has earned his A.S. from Westchester Community College; B.A. from SUNY New Paltz; M.S. from SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry; and Ph.D. from SUNY Binghamton. Peter initially taught within Lycoming College's Department of Biology, but now is a Research Associate there for the Clean Water Institute. As Research Associate, Peter was involved in stream restoration, incorporating elements of Natural Stream Channel Design. He is now in his 14th year of research on the giant hellbender salamander. He also studies other stream salamanders, vernal pool amphibians, and native and invasive crayfish.