Species in danger
Some of the species that could lose protection under proposed changes:
•Blue-spotted salamander — It was unknown in Pennsylvania until 2000 when it was discovered in McKean County. Since then, it has been found at only two other locations in Northampton and Warren counties. The blue-spotted salamander is 4 to 5 1/2 inches, but nearly half of that is tail. The blue-spotted salamander’s spots resemble the patterns of pots and pans known as graniteware.
•Rough green snake — Considered one of Pennsylvania’s rarest reptiles. There was a sighting in Greene County in 1924, but otherwise, it’s only known to exist in Chester and Lancaster counties. Adults are 18 to 30 inches long.
•Northern cricket frog — Pennsylvania’s smallest frog. This frog has been eliminated from 92 percent of its historical (pre-1983) locations. In addition, of the six populations discovered since 1983, three already have disappeared.
•Redbelly turtle — Most of the state’s redbelly turtles are in Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. There are also reports of isolated populations of eastern redbelly turtles as far west as Adams and Franklin counties. Eastern redbelly turtles are large compared to other Pennsylvania turtles. Adult males have an average length of more than 10 inches and females are nearly 12 inches.
•Southern leopard frog — As its name implies, this 2- to 3-inch frog is found throughout the southern United States but in Pennsylvania is only known to exist in the suburban counties around Philadelphia.
(Source: Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission)