Zoo Hosts Hellbender Symposium

  • Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Chattanooga Zoo will partner with Lee University and the Nashville Zoo to host the 6th Biennial Hellbender Symposium.  The four-day conference will take place from June 24 – June 27th at the Chattanooga Zoo.  

Over 85 researchers, zoologists, scientists, biologists and conservationists worldwide will gather together to share data, network and collaborate in hopes of preventing the extinction of the Hellbender Salamander.    

For two days conference attendees will attend breakout sessions covering topics such as Genetics, Disease and Stressors, Habitat Conservation and more.  One conference day will be spent conducting field research in nearby streams and rivers. 

Dr. Michael Freake, associate professor of Biology at Lee University and leading expert in Hellbender research, notes “Protecting and restoring hellbenders requires a collaborative, multifaceted approach involving expertise in areas like ecology, genetics, disease, and captive breeding.  As such, this conference is vital in bringing the parties together and producing fruitful partnerships.”

“All of us here at the Chattanooga Zoo are thrilled to be chosen to host such a needed scientific and conservation forum” says Darde Long, CEO. “We could not do this without the help of our many generous sponsors.”       

Symposium monetary sponsors include:  The Lyndhurst Foundation, Cryptobtanchid Interest Group (CIG), Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) and Mr. Timothy Fedele.  In-Kind sponsors include: Terminal Brewhouse, Athens Distributing, Rock Creek Outfitters, The Hot Chocolatier, Blue Smoke Coffee, UTC Outdoor Recreation Department, Mohawk Canoes, Track 29/Drive By Truckers, Bike Chattanooga and Georgia Department of Natural Resources. 

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