Managing for Wildlife

Pennsylvania’s forests are home to a myriad of wildlife species. Forest landowners often refer to attracting wildlife and wildlife viewing as a prime reason for owning their forested property. Gaining insight into how the management of the forest ecosystem impacts the wildlife species within it can be a complicated matter. Some practices that benefit one species may adversely affect another.

Harvesting timber is a practice that is sure to affect the wildlife and their usage upon the land. Improper harvesting techniques and unsustainable management can harm the wildlife existing within the woodlot. Wildlife is always of prime concern when managing a woodlot.

For more information on wildlife and forest management, please check out the links below:

  • PA Game Commission

  • Wildlife Management

    This 8-page Wisconsin Woodlands publication “lists useful management practices and techniques, the steps involved in developing a wildlife management plan, and sources of additional information and assistance.” It also contains a one-page bibliography.

  • USDA Forest Service Wildlife Information Database

    This database includes information on mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles, with long lists of species under the mammals and birds headings. The information is comprehensive including biology, distribution, habitat requirements, and the effects of fire on each species listed.

  • A Land Manager’s Guide to Improving Habitat for Forest Thrushes

    This forest management booklet is the second in a series and provides management prescriptions to maintain habitat required to sustain healthy populations of Veery, Swainson’s Thrush, Hermit Thrush, Wood Thrush, and Varied Thrush. The guide mentions forest health and management issues and key forest characteristics important to breeding birds.

  • Forest Stewardship and Wildlife

    This 20-page (217 kb) publication discusses the forest in terms of the food, cover, space, and water that it provides. It also covers forest succession, and incorporating wildlife-related objectives into management plans. Finally, there is a section on cost-share assistance for habitat enhancement.

  • Landowner’s Guide to Wildlife Control and Prevention Laws in Pennsylvania

    This four-page publication provides basic information for Pennsylvania landowners regarding their rights to control nuisance wildlife. It describes control and prevention methods as well as laws and regulations in Pennsylvania.

  • Leasing Your Land for Hunting: Income and More

    This 6-page document is part of the Forest Finance series produced by Penn State University. It describes the pros and cons of leasing your land to hunters with specific focus on elements of a good hunting lease.

  • Pennsylvania’s Wildlife and Wild Places: Our Outdoor Heritage in Peril

    This 32-page booklet is a beautiful description of Pennsylvania historically and currently and includes photos and charts. It describes issues facing Pennsylvania’s wildlands and provides recommendations for conserving the natural resources. The site also provides links to park and forest lands in the state and other related information.

  • Wildlife Damage Control: Woodchucks

    This 4-page fact sheet from Penn State Cooperative Extension has a section on general woodchuck biology and discusses damage control measures including exclusion, frightening, fumigation, toxicants, repellants, trapping and shooting. There is also contact information of companies that supply damage control materials.