Thursday, June 22, 2023

PA Natural Heritage Program 2022 Annual Report Now Available

Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program just released its 2022 Annual Report outlining their accomplishments and challenges during the year.

The mission of the Program is to provide scientific information, expertise, and assistance to support the conservation of biological diversity.

“This year presented some challenges that led us to evaluate our needs and ways of operating. 

“As part of that process and with the completion of a 10-county Natural Heritage Inventory update for southwestern Pennsylvania, we developed an approach to prioritize and update Natural Heritage Areas – a primary program product.

“With the update of the State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) due in 2025, we began the substantial task of assessing invertebrate taxa. This group, of which 450 species were included in the 2015 SWAP, is diverse and challenging as data on distribution and status is often lacking. 

“Coupled with several other projects focused on bees, other pollinators, crayfish, and freshwater mussels, the amount of effort we are spending on invertebrates has been substantial and unprecedented for us. 

“Other zoology projects focusing on the distribution and movement of species such as the wood turtle, green salamander, and evening grosbeak will add important information for the SWAP update.

“Our natural community work included studying seeps and floodplains, vernal pools, mapping habitat across the state, and conducting wetland workshops. 

“We continued our work with the Pennsylvania Plant Conservation Alliance, completing and beginning several plant recovery plans that will be the basis for site management and stewardship. 

“Projects funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allowed us to continue looking at plant populations that are federally listed or considered for listing. 

“Numerous other projects focused on the rarest plants in the state supported our core efforts to update the 16,276 plant records we maintain for Pennsylvania.

“We are always prioritizing and entering records and data from many sources with the goal of entering all data as quickly as possible. 

“We completed entering a large amount of data from the PA Amphibian and Reptile Survey (PARS), processed many bat records in preparation for new federal listings, and added over 4,027 records to the PA iMapInvasives database. 

“We continue to maintain and add to the very large Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) database that is used for the web-based Conservation Opportunity Area tool.

“In addition, we continue to collaborate with universities, non-profits, and state and local parks to provide expertise for a range of projects.”

Click Here to read the 2022 Annual Report.

For more information on this program, visit the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program website.

NewsClips This Week:

-- PennLive: Wildlife Corridors: PA Aims To Offer Safe Passage For Bear, Other Wildlife

-- Observer-Reporter: Wildlife Corridor Measure Passed By House Aims To Protect State’s Wildlife Habitat 

-- Williamsport Sun: Bear Necessities: What You Need To Know About Encounters With Bears

-- Beaver County Times - Brian Whipkey: Cankerworms Defoliated Trees In SW PA, Here’s What You Need To Know

-- Scranton Times: New Disease Threatening Beech Trees

-- Stroud Water Research Center: Bug Whisperer Dave Funk Decodes Mysteries Of Mayflies, Other Clean Water Lovers

-- Post-Gazette - Mary Ann Thomas: Where To See Fireflies In Pittsburgh And How You Can Help Keep Their Lights On

-- Wilkes-Barre Times: Rattlesnake Roundup Draws A Crowd In Luzerne County

[Posted: June 22, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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