PNHP methodology follows that of Natural Heritage Network and NatureServe.
This international network links programs in all 50 states, 6 Canadian
Provinces, and 12 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Standard
data collection and transcription procedures are used through the network.
Use of consistent methodology presents an opportunity to assess the status
of a given species or natural community over a broad geographic area across
any number of political boundaries. Conservation strategies can then be
developed at the local, state, or national level or may target an ecological
Species records and associated locational information are initially
gathered from plant and animal specimens maintained in museums, universities,
and personal collections. These data are supplemented by research, publications
, and communication with knowledgeable individuals. Intensive field surveys are
conducted to verify historically known plant and animal sites and to search for
previously undocumented locations. Natural communities can be located through
species records or a variety of other sources including air photos, soil
surveys, and geologic maps. Field surveys are then conducted to identify
component species and gather ecological data. Through this science-driven
inventory, vital ecological resources, and sites rich in natural diversity
are identified and monitored for future conservation efforts.
PNHP works with the academic community to validate information and ensure
that the highest possible standards are maintained with regard to accuracy of
data. We rely upon the Pennsylvania Biological Survey for proposed status
ranks. The PBS and others also assist the program by providing review of data