In the midst of tough budget deliberations, the Senate State Government Committee briefly shifted focus to student-led efforts to name the Hellbender as the State Amphibian.
The Eastern Hellbender Cryptobranchus alleganiensis is named for the Allegheny river system it inhabits. The salamander was once found extensively throughout the Ohio River basin watershed and the Susquehanna Watershed. While its range includes over two-thirds of Pennsylvania, it now survives in precious few tributaries.
The Eastern Hellbender as Pennsylvania’s official state amphibian, would symbolize the high value the Commonwealth has for pristine waters that run through it. It is a legacy worth leaving future generations.