Ohio vocational school raising endangered salamanders


PERRYSBURG, Ohio (AP) — High school students at a northwest Ohio vocational school are raising endangered hellbenders — North America’s largest salamander.

A state wildlife official tells The Blade in Toledo (http://bit.ly/1VNmOQW ) that the salamanders have seen an 80 percent decline over the past 36 years.

Students at Penta Career Center are now raising the large, lizard-like amphibians in Perrysburg, about 10 miles south of Toledo.

The school converted a storage room into a laboratory. Students will raise about 170 juvenile hellbenders there over the next couple years. The salamanders will then be released into southern Ohio streams.

The hellbenders arrived at Penta more than a month ago.

Penta joined the Ohio Hellbender Partnership, a group that hopes to save the salamanders using a captive rearing and release program.

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Information from: The Blade, http://www.toledoblade.com/