Wanted: Citizen Scientists with Cameras in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Mammal Atlas needs your help

Pennsylvania Mammal Atlas
Pennsylvania Mammal Atlas
Pennsylvania Game Commission
Pennsylvania Game Commission

Harrisburg, PA -(AmmoLand.com)- It’s just before dark and you see an elusive mammal. If you are lucky, you snap a good picture before it takes off.

You wonder if others have seen it too. Is it common to find this animal in your county? Now you can find out. The Pennsylvania Game Commission and its partners at the Pennsylvania Biological Survey have created a website for just that.

When visiting www.pamammalatlas.com you can browse maps, statistics, photographs, and descriptions of each wild mammal species in Pennsylvania. You also can search through photographs submitted by other outdoor enthusiasts.

Consider registering as a volunteer and sharing your own photographs while you are at it. In doing so, you will greatly help biologists working on the Pennsylvania Mammal Atlas.

What is the Pennsylvania Mammal Atlas?

The Pennsylvania Mammal Atlas is a project designed to map the current locations of the 64 wild mammal species found in Pennsylvania.

Atlas projects aren’t a new idea, but this is the first such project for mammals in Pennsylvania.

“The result of this project will be an approximately 10-year snapshot of Pennsylvania wild mammal distributions,” said Lindsey Heffernan, a wildlife biologist for the Pennsylvania Game Commission. “While professional biologists will be traveling around the state conducting in-depth surveys, we simply can’t cover enough ground. Citizen scientists will be crucial in helping us to search the entire Commonwealth.”

Why is the Pennsylvania Mammal Atlas Important?

In completing the Pennsylvania Mammal Atlas project, citizens and researchers will gather much-needed information on rare and elusive mammal species. Species distribution maps will be updated, and researchers will have a greater foundation for future projects and a better understanding of where to focus conservation efforts.

“This project is also important long-term, as the world we live in is constantly changing,” Heffernan said. “Climate change, human activities, and population growth are among the list of things that could, and likely will, have some effect on wild animals.”

“By creating a repeatable atlas, biologists will have the data they need to analyze those changes in mammal distributions past, present, and future,” Heffernan said.

About Pennsylvania Game Commission:

For more than 100 years, the Game Commission has managed the Commonwealth’s wildlife resources for all Pennsylvanians. With the help of more than 700 full-time employees and thousands of part-timers and volunteers, the agency provides a host of benefits to wildlife, state residents and visitors.

For more information, visit: www.pgc.state.pa.us.