From the Field

Connecting YOU with Wildlife – Pennsylvania Game Commission



Have you heard OutdoorsPA on the radio?

Pennsylvania Game Commission staff provide seasonal and timely outdoor information on this radio program.

Radio PA works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Game Commission to provide important wildlife management information to thousands of enthusiasts each and every week. To listen to archived programs visit:


A Story of Restoration

A Story of Restoration

Strip mining began in Pennsylvania in the 1940s. A strip mine results in the removal of vegetation, dirt and rocks to gain access to coal and other mineral deposits.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission began purchasing the land in Elk County that came to be known as State Game Land 311 in the 1990s. Much of this land had been used for strip mining.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission and several conservation organizations worked together to improve the habitat in the Elk County area.

They decided to spread paper mill waste products on the land to see if the lime in it would help to raise the pH level in the soil. It worked!

The paper pulp product made it possible for the soil to support the growth of grasses and clovers. This vegetation created food and cover for wildlife in the area.

We appreciate the efforts of the Game Commission staff and conservation organization staff and volunteers who helped to restore this land to a more natural state.

Happy Earth Day!

Pennsylvania eBird

Pennsylvania eBird

Biologists from the Pennsylvania Game Commission often write articles for the Pennsylvania eBird website. Pennsylvania eBird is a site that experienced birders use to monitor bird population trends, migration updates and seasonal information. The Pennsylvania eBird portal gives the agency an opportunity to engage the Pennsylvania birding community in monitoring the state’s bird populations.  This week’s spotlight is on the red-headed woodpecker. (photo by Jacob Dingel)

“The Red-headed Woodpecker is one of the most recognizable and attractive birds of the continent. It is the rarest breeding woodpecker in Pennsylvania, where this species approaches the northeast extent of its regular nesting range. It seems to be undergoing a population decline and range contraction.

The Ornithological Technical Committee (OTC) recently responded to the reported decline by listing the Red-headed Woodpecker as a Pennsylvania Vulnerable species. In the Wildlife Action Plan it is designated a species of Maintenance Concern. Monitoring this once much more common species is a critical part of its conservation.”

To read more about the red-headed woodpecker and other birds of Pennsylvania visit

Snowshoe Hare Research

Snowshoe Hare Research

This handsome hare was captured Thursday in a recently started two-year study by the Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Penn State.

In the study, researcher Laura Gigliotti is working with Dr. Duane Diefenbach on a master’s project looking at snowshoe hare habitat use and mortality rates in response forest changes on two research areas in the state. This project is funded by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

This photo was from the 5,000-acre research area in Monroe County. Assisting Laura with the field work in the Poconos is USFWRU research technician Dylan O’Leary. The photos are part of an upcoming Pennsylvania Game News feature that will focus on the research. – Joe Kosack, Pennsylvania Game News Associate Editor