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Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program

The Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program (PNHP) gathers and provides information on the location and status of important ecological resources such as:

  • Plants
  • Vertebrates
  • Invertebrates
  • Natural communities
  • Geologic features

PNHP's purpose is to provide current, reliable, and objective information to help inform environmental decisions. PNHP information can be used to guide conservation work and land-use planning, ensuring the maximum conservation benefit with the minimum cost.

PNHP (with cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) is a partnership among:

  • DCNR
  • Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
  • PA Fish and Boat Commission
  • PA Game Commission

PNHP is also a member of the international network of natural heritage programs called NatureServe.  

Inventory, Tools, and Services

The PNHP works beyond simply inventorying the commonwealth’s biodiversity, but also provides information and expertise to move its conservation and management forward.

Biodiversity Data Collection and Management

  • County Natural Area Inventory
  • Pennsylvania Plant Community Classification
  • Aquatic Community Classification
  • Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Species lists

Education and Best Management Practices

  • Vernal pools

Climate Change

  • Climate Change Vulnerability Index

Species and Ecological Monitoring and Assessment

Pennsylvania Conservation Explorer

The Pennsylvania Conservation Explorer is a one stop shop for conservation planning and environmental review for threatened and endangered plants and animals.

The Explorer provides conservation information on biological diversity, protected lands, streams, and other natural resources for planning purposes. It allows users to screen a project area for potential impacts to threatened, endangered, and special concern species.