One Giant Mess: Politics Ruin the Idaho Giant Salamander’s Chances at Being Idaho State Amphibian

The Girl with the Darwin Tattoo

Giant Salamander THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW, BETSY Z. RUSSELL — AP Photo

Ilah Hickman, now 14 years old, has been trying to get the Idaho Giant Salamander listed as Idaho State’s official amphibian since 2013.  Today marked the end of her fifth attempt to get the salamander recognized.

Idaho Giant Salamanders (Dicamptodon aterrimus)  are found primarily in Idaho in and around mountain streams and lakes.  Adults can reach sizes of about one foot in length.  Their large size and restricted distribution make them a prime candidate, out of Idaho’s reptiles and amphibians, to be a state symbol, followed closely by the Courdelane Salamander.  A unique part of our natural heritage, there really isn’t any reason to deny Hickman’s request to add it to our list of state symbols.  She cares enough, and has put in all the work and followed appropriate procedures to get the species added. 52% of states in the…

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