Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
Pennsylvania Biologist Nationally Recognized for Endangered Species Conservation

May 23, 2019


Meagan Racey, 413-253-8558,

Sonja Jahrsdoerfer, 814-206-7474,

Pennsylvania biologist Robert Anderson doing freshwater mussel work in the Allegheny River.

Pennsylvania biologist Robert Anderson doing freshwater mussel work in the Allegheny River. Credit: USFWS
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State College, Pennsylvania — Every year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service celebrates the contributions and achievements of our nationally recognized Recovery Champions. These dedicated individuals have devoted themselves to recovering endangered and threatened animals and plants.

Robert Anderson has been selected as the Service's 2018 Recovery Champion for the Northeast Region for his efforts in Pennsylvania. Anderson is the Assistant Field Supervisor at the Pennsylvania Field Office and widely recognized for his leadership in conservation of freshwater mussels, the bog turtle, the Indiana bat and the northern long-eared bat.

“I applaud Robert for all that he has accomplished on behalf of listed species over the last 18 years with the Service,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Principal Deputy Director Margaret Everson. “And I join the rest of the Service in extending my best wishes to him for his continuing success.”

In addition to being a widely recognized national expert on freshwater mussels, Anderson serves as an instructor for the Service’s National Conservation Training Center, teaching two courses in freshwater mussel identification and conservation. He also assists other Service biologists in conducting Endangered Species Act section 7 consultations, species status assessments, and mitigation planning for freshwater mussel species. Anderson also helped support and plan water quality studies and research to develop innovative survey methodologies, such as eDNA.

Anderson’s work with state and federal partners has significantly streamlined Endangered Species Act consultation processes and improved conservation efforts for bog turtles. Anderson leads efforts to complete formal consultation efforts and streamline the consultation process. He has also developed a conservation agreement with the U.S. Department of Agricultural Natural Resources Conservation Service to promote bog turtle habitat restoration projects on private lands.

Anderson supported his staff in their efforts to conserve listed species by helping finalize the approval of the first endangered species conservation bank in the State and in the Service’s Northeast Region. The conservation bank protects more than 438 acres of high-quality Indiana bat habitat and provides project proponents with a centralized option to offset impacts to bats from projects around the State. He also worked with staff and state partners to assist in the acquisition and management of Indian Caverns, a historic Indiana bat hibernaculum.

The Recovery Champion awards began in 2002 as a one-time recognition for Service staff members for their achievements in conserving listed species. However, in 2007 the program was expanded to honor Service partners as well, recognizing their essential role in the recovery of threatened and endangered species.

For photos and information about the 2018 Recovery Champions, please visit:

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