Wildlife species represent integral components of ecosystems and carry a long cultural history.
More than 25,000 species of known organisms — rainbow trout, white-tailed deer, ladyslippers, red-tailed hawks, slugs, black bears, timber rattlesnakes, and many more — are found in Pennsylvania. State forest and park lands provide habitats for a wide variety of wildlife species, common and rare alike. The term “wildlife” refers to any non-domesticated animal.
Why is Wildlife Conservation Important?
- Wildlife plays an important role in balancing ecosystems and provides stability to processes in nature. Natural environments have a delicate ecological balance; the health of a natural ecosystem depends on the health of every member that is a part of the environment and food chain.
- Wildlife conservation helps to ensure that nature and it’s treasures will be around for future generations to enjoy and study.
- Many animals and plant species, along with their natural habitats, are endangered. Dedicated conservation initiatives help to ensure future viability of diverse species.
The presence of wildlife in the Pennsylvania Wilds and around the world is a gift that can’t be replaced if it disappears.
The value of American wildlife spans economic, ecological, and spiritual realms. Wildlife create jobs through outdoor recreation, sustain food and water supplies, and help us develop meaningful bonds with our natural world. – The National Wildlife Federation
Wildlife also play an important cultural role in the Pennsylvania Wilds by providing opportunities for bird or wildlife viewing, photography, hunting and fishing, research, and the intrinsic value of simply knowing these species exist.
PA Wilds Key Players in Wildlife Conservation
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) manages lands to provide habitats that support diverse, healthy populations of wildlife that contribute to these important roles and ecological function of ecosystems.
Other Wildlife Management on DCNR Lands
DCNR manages wildlife resources through planning, inventory, and review, and close coordination with partner agencies:
- PA Game Commission
- PA Fish and Boat Commission
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The Pennsylvania Wilds is home to some of the most spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities in the Eastern United States. Check out wildlife viewing tips, locations and information on Audubon Pennsylvania’s Important Birding Areas in the Pennsylvania Wilds.