That would be an Eastern Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis), North America’s largest salamander, found in Virginia from the New River westward (in the Ohio/Mississippi River basin). Living as long as 30 years and growing to as large as about 29 inches, Hellbenders have a fearsome appearance and name and an important ecological role. Virginia Tech’s University Relations has produced a 3-minute video featuring Dr. Bill Hopkins, from the Tech Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, showing a Hellbender and discussing its biology and connection to water quality. The video—posted August 8, 2012—is online at http://www.unirel.vt.edu/audio_video/2012/08/080912-cnre-hellbender.html. Information Eastern Hellbender biology, habitat, distribution, and population status in Virginia is available at the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ Web site at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/hellbender/; the Web site also includes a short video of a Hellbender underwater.
- Invasive Plants and Restoration of Natural Plant Communities will be Focus of Biennial Invasive Plant Conference in Shepherdstown, W. Va., July 31-Aug. 1, 2013
- Virginia Water-related Government Meetings, May 27-June 10, 2013
- On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 5-27-13: Tropical Storm Season Preparedness
- Quick Guide to Virginia Water-related Events – May 23, 2013 Edition
- 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook Released May 23, Predicting “Active or Extremely Active” Season of 13 to 20 Named Storms; Virginia’s Hurricane-preparedness Tax Holiday Runs May 25-31, 2013