Working Group Plans
The Hellbender and Mudpuppy Working Group was formed at the 2012 meeting to address conservation issues surrounding these two fully aquatic salamander species. The group identified educational outreach as an important focal area, as both of these species are frequently misunderstood or feared by members of the public. Current projects underway include the development of a presentation for mudpuppy outreach (based on the presentation previously created for hellbenders by Amber Pitt), the creation of outreach materials aimed at specifically at the fishing community, and the establishment of a partnership with a company to create a plush toy that can be sold to help raise awareness and money for salamander conservation. In addition, the group is working on improving ways to collect information on hellbender and mudpuppy sightings, and is developing bibliographies for hellbender and mudpuppy publications.