Click the Core Habitats in the map to view site details. For more information hover the mouse over help icons
Statewide County Natural Heritage Inventory Map
The County Natural Heritage Inventory effort within the state is another of
the cooperative programs undertaken by the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage
Program (PNHP) partnership. The County Natural Heritage Inventories
(CNHI) have been systematic studies of the critical biological resources of
the state, county by county. The primary focus of CNHIs has been on
species of concern: those plants, animals, natural communities, and habitats
most at risk of extinction at the global or local level. These projects are
designed to identify, map and discus areas that support species of concern,
exemplary natural communities and broad expanses of intact natural
ecosystems that support components of Pennsylvania’s native species
biodiversity. These areas are prioritized based upon their ecological
qualities and provided with recommendations regarding their management
These studies were conceived as tools to assist in planning to avoid the
accidental destruction of habitats supporting species of concern at both the
county and municipal levels and have been used effectively in that
capacity. CNHIs have been incorporated into comprehensive plans,
consulted to plan development projects, and utilized by conservation
organizations to prioritize their work. Additionally, these studies have been
used to help in the development of recreational amenities, promotion of
tourism industries and assistance in community development. CNHIs have
also been a primary source for much of the Pennsylvania Natural Diversity
Inventory (PNDI) permit review data. CNHIs can actually streamline
economic and infrastructure developments by providing information on
sensitive environmental features early in the planning process when
adjustments can be made at little cost or delay. The County Natural Heritage Inventory is a planning tool,
and is not intended to be used as a substitute for environmental review.
For more information, view the Statewide CNHI fact sheet.
To provide feedback on the CNHI interactive map, please Take our Survey.
Latitude & Longitude boxes track the coordinate position of the crosshair (center of map). To find specific coordinates on the map, enter Latitude/Longitude values in the boxes and click on the "Move to Lat/Long" button - Map will re-center to entered coordinates.
Core Habitat denotes the area most closely associated with the species of concern habitat. This area can support little disturbance without adversely affecting the habitat of the species of concern. Core habitat polygons typically represent the aggregation of core habitats for the assortment of species of concern occurring in any one area.
Supporting Landscape - identifies areas surrounding or adjacent to core habitat that are not
considered the primary habitat of the species of concern or natural community, but
represents the areas necessary to maintain vital ecological processes or secondary habitat
that could be impacted by certain types of habitat-disturbing activities.
Landscape Conservation Areas (LCAs) are large contiguous areas that are important because of their size, open space, habitats and/or inclusion of one or more core habitats for species of concern.
Important Bird Areas (IBAs) are sites that provide essential habitat for one or more species of bird. IBAs include sites for breeding, wintering, and/or migrating birds. IBAs may be a few acres or thousands of acres, but usually they are discrete sites that stand out from the surrounding landscape. IBAs may include public or private lands, or both, and they may be protected or unprotected.
Published County Natural Heritage Inventory reports for 63 of the 67 are available. Click on the 'Open CNHI Report' button to download the selected county.
Checkbox toggles the visibility of Pennsylvania County Boundaries and their labels
Watersheds are based on the USGS Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC) 8.
Checkbox toggles the visibility of Watersheds which are based on the USGS Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC) 8.
Provisional species of concern sites represent one or more species occurrences found outside of existing core habitat areas. These areas are in the process of being evaluated and drawn based on species habitat requirements.
You may need to zoom further into the map to view township/municipal boundaries if you don't currently see them.
Use this link to add the CNHI GIS layers directly to ArcMap on your machine (requires Version 9.2 or higher). Click "Open" in the window that displays to add the data directly to ArcMap or click "Save" to save a Layer File on your machine which can then be added to ArcMap manually. Using either ensures that you are using the most up-to-date information within your ArcMap software.
Use this link to add the CNHI GIS layers directly to Google Earth on your machine (requires you have Google Earth installed). Click "Open" in the window that displays to add the data directly to Google Earth or click "Save" to save a KMZ File on your machine which can then be added to Google Earth manually. Using either ensures that you are using the most up-to-date information within your Google Earth software.
Natural Heritage Inventories and Environmental Review.
The results presented in this map represent a snapshot in time, highlighting the sensitive natural areas within Pennsylvania. The existing polygons in this layer were created for specific County Natural Heritage Inventory projects over a 20 year period. Hence, many of the existing polygons represent data that was collected 10-20 years ago. Updating this information is an ongoing process and goal of the Heritage Program. The sites in the Statewide County Natural Heritage Inventory have been identified to help
guide land use and county planning. The County Natural Heritage Inventory is a planning tool,
and is not intended to be used as a substitute for environmental review,
since information is constantly being
updated as natural resources are both discovered and lost due to development as well as natural processes. Planning Commissions and applicants for
building permits should conduct free, online, environmental reviews to inform them of project-specific potential
conflicts with sensitive natural resources. Environmental reviews can be conducted by visiting the PNHP
. If conflicts are noted during the environmental review process,
the applicant is informed of the steps to take to minimize negative effects on sensitive natural resources.