Biodiversity in Pennsylvania

In this module we discussed biodiversity and how it differs across many different environments throughout the world. For this assignment:

  1. In 150-200 words, discuss the biodiversity within your own area, and how human and environment factors have impacted the level of biodiversity you have come to know.
  2. In 150-200 words discuss one of the endangered species in your area and what factors led to this


I live in Port Matilda, PA, a small suburb 25 minutes outside of state college. My house lies within an area surrounded by forests, including many small creeks flowing through them. In my own backyard you can follow the woods back for miles before hitting another neighborhood. In the years that I have lived here I have encountered a great deal of biodiversity and a variety of different animals and plant life. Most commonly my backyard is full of deer, turkeys, rabbits, groundhogs, squirrels, etc, however I have seen many other animals as well. My house also falls in an area surrounded by farms, meaning I am directly exposed to cows, horses, pigs, goats, and a llama farm down the street. Unfortunately, many of these animals that live in the forests surrounding my home are at risk for extinction, most notably the mountain lion. Over the years factors such as water pollution, dam building and disease have threatened their lifestyle killing many. Many of these factors are directly related to the actions of people living in this area and we must take charge to protect the remaining species.


One of the species in my area that is at the most prominent risk for extinction is the Indiana Bat. It has been listed as an endangered since 1967 and is currently a priority species in the Pennsylvania state Wildlife Action Plan. The Indiana Bat is found only in 18 hibernation sites across the state, with only around 1,000 bats in total. The bats preferred habitat includes many very strict requirements such as airflow and temperatures falling only one degree above freezing. Of the hibernation sites across the state very few offer the conditions necessary for the bat’s survival. The main cause of their extinction is the presence and interference of humans. Human entry into the hibernation sites disturbs the bats and causes them to burn up their fat reserves, making survival in winter impossible. Similarly, with the continued loss of natural hibernation sites, humans have interfered to create manmade structures for the bats to use. Unfortunately these sites are prone to collapsing resulting in the death of more of this endangered species. We must make efforts to limit our involvement in the lives of these species leaving them with stable living sites prior to stepping away from their living situations, and allowing them to survive on their own.

Information found at:

2 thoughts on “Biodiversity in Pennsylvania

  1. It is interesting but sad how humans impact the Indiana Bat. I would have never of thought that disturbing them caused them to use up their fat supplies too fast and kill them (I can see disturbing them in some sort of way being a factor, just not the fat burning part). It also seems that even when we try to help we only make it worse. It seems your idea to try and limit the amount we interact with these bats is the best solution.

    See my post at:

  2. Hi,

    My name is Madison and I am a student at UPark. I really liked your post and how you linked biodiversity to your hometown, and then talked about an endangered species which could be a threat to biodiversity. It was interesting to read about your hometown because there are some differences in biodiversity in your hometown and mine. My hometown has more of a city feel so we experience different biodiversity. It is interesting to see that a species in your town is going extinct, and reading someone elses post I realized that humans are one of the biggest threats to biodiversity. I thought this was interesting because I talked about how humans contributed to biodiversity in my blog. Great job and here is the link to my post if you are interested:

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