The cave salamander and lark sparrow are two species protected as endangered by the Ohio Division of Natural Resources. Cave salamanders are found in and around caves, seeps, springs, springhouses, and small forested limestone creeks associated with groundwater. They live in rock crevices or under rocks, logs, or other debris, and feed on insects. Lark sparrows also feed on insects but also add seeds to their diet. These migratory birds are seen in Ohio in spring and summer months, nesting in grassland habitats with scattered shrub layers, disturbed open areas, as well as patches of bare soil. FInd more information on the cave salamander, lark sparrow and other native Ohio species at

Several other threatened and uncommon plant and animal species are found at Oak Glen Nature Preserve. Oak Glen began as a gift from Karen and Eugene Schunk to Great Parks of Hamilton County in 1999. From its inception, Oak Glen has been an exceptionally fine preserve with mature forests and diverse native wildlife unsurpassed in the Great Parks’ system.

In 2014, much of Oak Glen was devastated by an oil spill from an underground pipeline. The effects are significant and it will likely be decades before the preserve is completely restored. Thanks to the expertise and leadership of Great Parks’ Natural Resources Department, important restoration milestones are being met including the return of the cave salamander and lark sparrow.

Learn more about Oak Glen Nature Preserve at