PRINTER'S NO. 43
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
9
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY YAW, SCARNATI, ALLOWAY, FOLMER, KILLION, VOGEL AND
REGAN, JANUARY 23, 2019
REFERRED TO STATE GOVERNMENT, JANUARY 23, 2019
AN ACT
Designating the Eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis
alleganiensis) as the official amphibian of the Commonwealth
of Pennsylvania.
The General Assembly finds that:
(1) The Eastern hellbender is a unique amphibian native
to a select handful of areas, one of which is this
Commonwealth.
(2) The Eastern hellbender is the largest North American
salamander and is the third largest salamander in the world,
with the ability to grow to 29 inches in length.
(3) The Eastern hellbender is not listed as the official
amphibian of any other state or commonwealth despite its
range.
(4) The Eastern hellbender is considered an indicator
species due to its sensitivity to poor water quality and
pollution.
(5) Pennsylvania is widely known for waterways, rivers
and streams that reach an approximate total length of 1,239
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square miles and have a great value to Pennsylvania's economy
and environment.
(6) Pennsylvania has had a history of poor water quality
due to pollution and other elements.
(7) The Eastern hellbender is considered a species of
special concern in this Commonwealth and in New York.
(8) The Eastern hellbender is listed as endangered in
Maryland, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana and is considered
threatened in Alabama.
(9) The Eastern hellbender population is drastically
declining due to poor water quality in Pennsylvania's rivers
and streams.
(10) The Eastern hellbender has been historically found
in nearly every western county in Pennsylvania; however,
recent studies show approximately half of those counties no
longer support the species.
(11) Due to the Eastern hellbender's sensitivity and
status as an indicator species, it proves to be a positive
symbol for water quality efforts in Pennsylvania.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Official State amphibian.
The Eastern hellbender is selected, designated and adopted as
the official amphibian of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Section 2. Effective date.
This act shall take effect immediately.
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