Threats and Issues

Pennsylvania’s special places are facing several significant challenges. As urban areas spread, they chew up valuable and irreplaceable habitat. Even though the state’s population isn’t growing, thousands of acres are lost each year to urban sprawl. The state’s waterways also suffer from the side effects of one of its oldest industries, coal mining. Ten percent of Pennsylvania’s stream miles are significantly impaired due to acid mine drainage. And then there are the as-yet-unknown consequences of climate change; if predictions hold true, the state is likely to see significant changes in both forest composition and the abundance and distribution of many of its native species. The fact that Pennsylvania provides quality habitat for such a range of iconic and imperiled species means that conservation in Pennsylvania faces many threats.

Threats to Conservation in Pennsylvania

  • Climate Change

    In Pennsylvania, changes in the distribution of species and plant communities due to the effects of global climate change may become most evident in populations of species occurring at or near the edge of their ranges and in rare and isolated habitat types.

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  • Development Pressure

    Replacing large tracts of natural assets with urban development may have more of an impact on our health and well being than many people realize.

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  • Invasive Species

    Natural habitats within Pennsylvania are threatened by the invasion of non-native species that cause harm to the natural environment, the economy, or to human health.

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