Endangered Species
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Stories from - PENNSYLVANIA

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Powering Atlantic Sturgeon Recovery with Science

Scientists at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Northeast Fishery Center (NEFC) in Lamar, Pennsylvania work to recover endangered fish species like the Atlantic sturgeon... Read More

Stories from - PENNSYLVANIA

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Partnerships in Pennsylvania Protect the Bog Turtle and Other Threatened Species

Cherry Valley in Pennsylvania is home to rare ecosystems and several plants and animals protected under the Endangered Species Act. The area is only 75 miles (121 kilometers) from... Read More

Featured Species in Pennsylvania

Bog turtle, photo credit: Michael Zahra

Bog turtle

At only about 4 inches long, the bog turtle is North America's smallest turtle. The northern population of bog turtles in known to range from New York and western Massachusetts south to Maryland.

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Bog turtle.

Photo credit: USFWS

Northern riffleshell. Photo credit: USFWS

Northern riffleshell

Northern riffleshell, typical of many freshwater mussels, are sensitive to siltation, residential and commercial pollution, agricultural run-off, channelization, impoundments, and competition with zebra mussel. Rivers than can support a reproducing population of northern riffleshells probably has good water quality and a healthy watershed. More »


Northern riffleshell.

Partnership Stories in Pennsylvania

Restoring the Northern Riffleshell.  Photo credit: Angela Boyer, USFWS

Restoring the Northern Riffleshell

Endangered throughout its range, the surviving Pennsylvania populations are some of the best remaining in the world. Water pollution, dam construction and dredging are the major causes for its decline, but other threats include stream sedimentation, channelization and reduced host fish populations. The Epioblasma mussles are some of the most environmentally sensitive species in North America. More »

Found in Pennsylvania

  • Small whorled pogonia, Photo credit: Jennifer Modliszewski, Duke University

    The small whorled pogonia (Isotria medeoloides) is a rare orchid that grows in older hardwood forests of beech, birch, maple, oak, and hickory with an open understory. The primary threat to the small whorled pogonia is the past and continuing loss of populations when their habitat is developed for urban expansion. And as is the case with all rare orchids, the small whorled pogonia is vulnerable to collecting for commercial or personal use.

    Photo credit: Jennifer Modliszewski, Duke University

  • Bog turtle, Photo credit: John White CalPhotos

    At only about four inches long, the bog turtle (Clemmys (Glyptemys) muhlenbergii) is one of North America's smallest turtles. This federally threatened species lives in a mosaic of open, sunny, springfed wetlands and scattered dry areas. The variety of wet and dry places meets all the turtle's basic needs. Sunny open areas provide the warmth needed to regulate the turtle's body temperature and incubate its eggs, while soft muddy areas allow turtles to escape from predators and extreme temperatures.

    Photo credit: John White CalPhotos

See other species listed in Pennsylvania
Last updated: June 4, 2020