News & Features

2017 Working Together for Wildlife Patch Supports Wildlife Diversity

2017 Working Together for Wildlife Patch

The 2017 Working Together for Wildlife patch features the charming and popular Eastern Chipmunk. The “chippy” is a popular mammal of the eastern deciduous forest and widespread in our state. They can be found in almost any visit to a state game land, a state park, or a state forest. We have several in our own backyard raiding our garden and our feeders. They may be in hibernation now in the cold winter months but expect to see some poke their head out of their den hole in late February or March. When they do emerge from hibernation, chipmunks are very comical and fun to watch but they really are very territorial animals, fighting off intruders to their territories. Unlike many mammals, chipmunks are diurnal with most of their activity in mid-day. They have an extensive vocal repertoire that any birder should get to know to avoid misidentifying this rodent as a bird. Of course, they “chip” as their name suggests but they also utter a low “chuck” call frequently misidentified by anyone outdoors as some songbird. Its “chip-trill” call is often given with a tail twitch when it is disturbed by a hawk, cat, or perambulating human. Broad-winged Hawks, accipiters, owls, foxes, and cats often prey on chipmunks. On the other hand (or paw), chipmunks have a varied diet that includes many nuts, fruits, mushrooms, insects, earthworms, salamanders, and small snakes as well as the contents of bird nests. Despite some of their predatory habits, it is hard not to like chipmunks.

Your purchase of a Working Together for Wildlife patch supports the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Wildlife Diversity program and its many projects.

Bald Eagle Nest in White Pine with Eaglet by Hal Korber, PGC

Some of the projects conducted by the Game Commission’s Wildlife Diversity staff in the last few years include:

Endangered and threatened species protection through research and management

The State Wildlife Action Plan implementation for Species of Greatest Conservation Need

Bald Eagle nest monitoring

Osprey nest monitoring and recovery

Peregrine Falcon monitoring and eyrie protection

2016 Working Together for Wildlife Patch

Colonial water bird monitoring and protection for Great Egret, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, and Great Blue Heron

Wetland bird monitoring and management for bitterns and rails

Barn Owls in their native habitat, by Wayne Laubscher

Rare beach bird monitoring and conservation for Piping Plover and Common Tern

Rare mountain forest bird monitoring, research, and protection for Blackpoll Warbler, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, and Swainson’s Thrush

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher female on nest, Pennsylvania, by Doug Gross

Golden-winged Warbler monitoring and management

Northern Goshawk monitoring and protection

Northern Goshawk in the big woods of Pennsylvania by Wayne Laubscher

Peatland and forest interior bird monitoring

Barn Owl conservation including banding, landowner support, and public education

Managing the Appalachian Bat Count, a citizen science project for all the bats

Bat hibernacula surveys for many declining bat species

Research on white-nose syndrome in bats

Least Bittern on nest by Jake Dingel

Allegheny woodrat surveys and management

Coordinating the Pennsylvania Mammal Atlas

Bat acoustic surveys

Water shrew surveys

Northern flying squirrel research and management

Many of these projects involve volunteers whom we appreciate greatly. We could not do our work with Wildlife Diversity species without “citizen scientists.” Thank you so much for your considerable contributions.

Doug Gross

The endangered Short-eared Owl perched on a post by Wayne Laubscher