Pennsylvania Collage

Welcome to the Pennsylvania Wildlife Action Plan

Conservation Opportunity Area Tool!

The 2015-2025 Pennsylvania Wildlife Action Plan is the foundation for non-regulatory information provided through this tool. Administered by the Game Commission and Fish & Boat Commission and developed by species experts, conservation partners, and the public, the Wildlife Action Plan is the state’s blueprint for conserving declining & imperiled vertebrates and invertebrates.Together, we can accomplish more for Pennsylvania’s fish and wildlife!


The Wildlife Action Plan Conservation Opportunity Area Tool was developed to:

  • Support conservation planning, such as identifying habitat management needs to maintain or attract Species of Greatest Conservation Need (i.e., species in the Wildlife Action Plan) to a property. 
  • Guide conservation actions (e.g., activities such as planting trees along a stream, removing invasive species or hundreds of other potential actions) at statewide and local scales. 
  • Support the goals, objectives, strategies and conservation actions in the Pennsylvania Wildlife Action Plan.

Who should use this tool?

  • Anyone interested in conserving at-risk species, including private landowners seeking to improve habitat on their property, non-governmental organizations (e.g., land trusts, conservancies), municipalities, Conservation Districts, resource managers, users curious about Species of Greatest Conservation Need in their area, and many others.
  • Developed with wildlife and land management professionals in mind, users are encouraged to seek assistance from the Game Commission or Fish & Boat Commission with results interpretation.

Getting started!

  1. Register by clicking on the Create a New Account link to the right. Pennsylvania Conservation Explorer registered users can use your username and password. There is no cost to register or use the Conservation Opportunity Area Tool.
  2. Read the fine print (Terms & Conditions of Use).
  3. Check out the Quick Start Instructions or Help page.
  4. USE THE COA TOOL by clicking the MAP tab at the top of the page.

What's included?  This tool provides conservation planning information for species in the Wildlife Action Plan including:

  • A Create Area of Interest Report function producing a list of Species of Greatest Conservation Need (e.g., bald eagle, wood thrush, eastern mudminnow), conservation actions, habitats and more. Refer to the Data Info tab for information about species data included in the tool.
  • Pennsylvania Game Commission jurisdictional species (birds, mammals).
  • Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission jurisdictional species (fishes, reptiles, amphibians, and aquatic invertebrates).
  • Terrestrial invertebrates, to the extent practicable, though no state agency is officially responsible for the wellness of these species.
  • Habitat types and specific habitat requirements.
  • Recommended conservation actions.
  • Research and survey needs.

What's NOT included?

  • The Wildlife Action Plan does not include plant species of conservation concern, nor does this Conservation Opportunity Area Tool. Plants are not defined as "wildlife"; however, plants are critical to healthy ecosystems and should be considered when making conservation decisions. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Natural Heritage Area reports should be referenced for plant information.
  • This tool does not provide sensitive species location information.

Important: This tool does not satisfy or supplant regulatory review requirements and is not for Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory (PNDI) project screening.

Help! Questions can be directed to the Fish & Boat Commission (reptiles, amphibians, fish, aquatic or terrestrial invertebrates) at RA-FBSWAP@pa.gov  or the Game Commission (birds, mammals, terrestrial invertebrates) at PGCSWAP@pa.gov.

Thank you for caring about Pennsylvania’s Species of Greatest Conservation Need!


  Funding was provided by the federal State & Tribal Wildlife Grants Program (administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pennsylvania Game Commission and Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission), Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Map services and mapping features are based on Pennsylvania Conservation Explorer, developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program and NatureServe. See the Our Thanks page for full acknowledgement of the many individuals who generously contributed their time and talents to production of this tool.