Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program

The Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program is a partnership between The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, The PA Fish and Boat Commission, and The PA Game Commission.  The Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program works in cooperation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and is a member of the International Network of Heritage Programs called NatureServe. PNHP helps guide conservation work and land-use planning, ensuring the maximum conservation benefit with the minimum cost. PNHP conducts inventories and collects data regarding the Commonwealth's native biological diversity. Information is stored in an integrated data management system consisting of maps, manuals, and computer files.

PNHP relies upon information from a wide variety of sources to develop and sustain the ongoing inventory. Concerned citizens are encouraged to make suggestions or provide information that will assist with the project. The loss of species and natural communities is often inadvertent and easily avoidable. The more complete our information on what exists where, the greater our chances of preventing additional losses.

Featured Projects

  • County Natural Heritage Inventories

    County Natural Heritage Inventories are designed to inform the residents of a county about their living heritage and give them a tool to use in planning the future of their communities.

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  • Aquatic Community Classification

    The Pennsylvania Aquatic Community Classification project describes patterns in aquatic biodiversity to help conservation activities and aquatic resource management in Pennsylvania.

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  • Pennsylvania Rare Plant Forum

    Since 1979, the PA Rare Plant Forum has served in an advisory role to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for issues related to the conservation of the native flora of Pennsylvania.

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  • Eastern Massasauga

    The Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (Sisturus catenatus catenatus) is listed as a critically imperiled endangered species in Pennsylvania, and recent studies by the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program staff have shown that only four of 19 historic populations in Pennsylvania still exist.

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  • Seasonal Pools Registry

    Seasonal pools are small, shallow, ephemeral waterbodies that are a unique type of wetland habitat. The Pennsylvania Seasonal Pools Registry is a citizen-based program to document locations of seasonal pools.

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  • Blanding's Turtles

    The Blanding’s turtle (Emys blandingii) has been designated as an “Immediate Concern” species in the Pennsylvania Wildlife Action Plan, but very little information on the species’ distribution in Pennsylvania exists.

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