biologist Thomas Floyd of DNR’s Nongame Conservation Section and Dr.
Shem Unger, a postdoctoral researcher at UGA's Savannah River Ecology
were looking for larval hellbenders Sept. 5 as part of a
State Wildlife Grants project exploring the impact of sedimentation
levels on young salamanders. But in the bend of a rain-swollen creek on
the Chattahoochee National Forest,
the snorkelers spotted an eastern
hellbender guarding a “nest rock” as females attempted to enter the nest
to deposit eggs. This footage is the first known documentation of this
behavior in Georgia.