There are two components to this project. The first component consists of lab work and collections from Lower Howard’s Creek. PCR, eDNA methods, and gel electrophoresis were used to find the presence of amphibian species in Lower Howard’s Creek and Hall’s Falls Tributary. During the spring and fall semester of 2018, water collections were collected from Lower Howard’s Creek to find the presence of amphibians by utilizing eDNA sampling methods. After eDNA, PCR and gel electrophoresis were performed to determine what target species DNA was present. During the assessment several animal species were identified, but only one of those species was chosen for this plan. The second component consists of a management plan for the hellbender salamander. The hellbender salamander, scientifically known as Cryptobranchus alleganiensis, is in danger. The population has declined by 77% over the past 20 years. The goal is to provide an assessment of the hellbender and prospective recommendations for managing the species on the property. There have been many efforts put in place to save this amphibian, but it still remains a highly threatened species.
Semester/Year of Award
Andrew J. Wigginton
Mentor Professional Affiliation
Restricted Access Thesis
Howell, Taylor M., "The Quest to Find Amphibian Species in Eastern Kentucky Streams Utilizing eDNA Sampling Methods" (2018). Honors Theses. 594.