Evening Bat Appears Again!

05/31/2016 - On May 24th an environmental consulting company captured an evening bat in our state, and a pregnant female to boot!  This capture makes the fourth record of evening bats in three years.  Capture locations have varied from the northcentral to southwest portions of the state.  This is a species that has never been documented in Pennsylvania historically.  The summer bat trapping season recently began May 15th and extends through August 15th in Pennsylvania, so many more exciting captures are possible in the warm summer nights ahead!       

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Mammal Atlas participates in BioBlitz

05/27/2016 – A team from the Pennsylvania Mammal Atlas participated in the Heritage Conservancy’s Quakertown Swamp BioBlitz from May 19 to 20.  Professionals in various fields such as bugs, birds, amphibians, and plants spent two days finding and recording as many species as possible.   The results of this effort inform the Conservancy of resources on the property and allow for best land management practices.   Over 320 plant and animal species were documented, including five mammal species our team found using a trail camera and snap traps.   

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Millersville University Class Challenge

05/10/2016 - Many thanks go out to Professor Aaron Haines’ mammalogy class at Millersville University.  As part of a friendly competition, teams of students were challenged to submit records to the Pennsylvania Mammal Atlas during the semester.  Over 40 records were contributed, including more than 25 records submitted by Group 2.  The winning team was comprised of Berina Nalic, Brandon Smith, Katelyn Newcamp, and Chelsea LaPenta (left to right below).  Thank you for all of your hard work, and best of luck in your future endeavors!

Group 2

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Bundle Up Biologists, There's Research To Be Done!

01/11/2016 - Deer season has ended in most of Pennsylvania.  The snow is starting to stick, and temperatures dip into the single digits.  You might be wondering if there is anything mammal biologists are doing this time of year?  Some research projects slow down.  Many species are less active, and some even hibernate like jumping mice.  On the other hand, some mammal projects kick into high gear.  Black bear dens will be checked for cubs.  Deer might be trapped, tagged, and released for studies.  Potential Appalachian cottontail sites will be visited to collect fecal samples.  Analyzing these samples will determine species - Appalachian or the more common eastern cottontail.  P.S. If you know of any high elevation, forested areas with cottontails please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This is also a very important time of year for bat research.  Pennsylvania has two types of bats, cave and migratory.  Cave bats such as little browns and tri-coloreds stick around all winter.  Okay they stick around, but inside caves, mines, tunnels, and other dark, sheltered places.  By visiting such places, biologists are able to monitor which species and how many are present.  This data was, and still is, very important to understanding bats as they struggle with white-nose syndrome.  If you see bats flying around or dead on the landscape this winter, please don't disturb them and let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We biologists have plenty to keep busy, but we look forward to seeing your winter mammal pictures.  Snow provides a great opportunity for photos of scat or tracks.  The ground below bird feeders is a good place to check for squirrels and small mammals.  It's also a good time to view mammals congregating, like elk.  Bundle up, there are mammals to observe!      

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Mammal Checklist Updated

12/29/15 - If you have visited our Mammals page, you may have noticed our PA Mammal Checklist (also available here).  Our goal is to provide the most helpful and accurate list possible, and therefore we've recently updated it.  We have removed the outdated Wildlife Action Plan rankings and added a new column that shows whether or not a species can be found statewide.  Good luck checking off your Pennsylvania mammal observations, and don't forget to share your photos!   

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Pennsylvania Game Commission
Bureau of Wildlife Management
Attn: Mammal Atlas Coordinator
2001 Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, PA 17110
MammalAtlas@pa.gov
Pennsylvania Game Commission
Bureau of Wildlife Management
717-787-5529