EuryceAlliance

advancing research and conservation of Texas Eurycea salamanders

Austin Salamander Savior Jonathan Hillis

Meet Order of the Arrow national chief and Austin Salamander Savior Jonathan Hillis

Congrats to Austin Salamander Savior Jonathan Hillis for his election as 2011 National Chief of the Order of the Arrow, which recognizes Boy Scouts who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. Here’s an excerpt from last weeks’ article in the Summit Blog about Jonathan:

“As the son of a biology professor, Hillis has a certain affinity for environmental studies. He chose to develop conservation efforts for the highly endangered Barton Springs Salamander (Eurycea sosorum). Interestingly, his own father, Dr. David Hillis, discovered the species.

Hillis organized the restoration of habitat, which is only found in the Edwards Aquifer in Texas, his home state. Hillis began the project by removing silt and concrete from the springs, while also organizing the reconstruction of the drainage systems. To top it all off, he replanted native vegetation which helped hold the revitalized environment together.

As a result of his efforts, Hillis received the William T. Hornaday Award for conservation from the Boy Scouts of America, while also getting some local recognition, too.

The mayor of his hometown gave him the honorary title of “Austin Salamander Savior,” and when Hillis received the Vigil Honor, he received the Vigil name “Savior of the Salamanders.””

Click here to read the full article: What Do Salamanders, Texas And The OA Have In Common? | Summit Blog!.

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