Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 10

known, all in southeastern counties. White Nose Syndrome (WNS) is a disease associated with a fungus that grows on the exposed skin (face, wings and tail) of bats as they hibernate in mines and caves. It causes them to awaken during hibernation, exhaust their fat reserves and emerge in search of insects during winter when that food source is not available. The result is high death rates among our primary predators of night-flying insects, including 2010-11 agricultural and forest pests, potentially destabilizing ecosystems and increasing reliance on chemical alternatives. An epidemic of unprecedented proportion in North American wildlife, the rapid spread and extreme virulence of WNS threatens the continued existence of even the most common species of cave-dwelling bats. In five years since its discovery in upstate New York in February 2006, WNS had been confirmed in 16 states and four Canadian provinces, and two additional states had suspected sites by the end of the 2010-11 hibernation season. In Pennsylvania, WNS had been confirmed in 15 counties. Visual evidence of WNS was found at hibernacula in 7 additional counties, but specimens could not be obtained for laboratory confirmation. Immediately upon the arrival of WNS in Pennsylvania, the Commission established collaborative partnerships with top researchers, implemented multiple research projects, and began to assist state and federal agencies in strategic decision making and planning. We hosted two annual meetings with national attendance and have written successful grant proposals for federal funding for both a multi-state response to WNS and in-state capacity building. The northern flying squirrel is a state endangered species. The management plan for a Luzerne County State Game Lands that harbors an active northern flying squirrel population will now permanently protect core habitat and improve surrounding habitat through timber management. Approximately 1,500 native red spruces were planted on the Game Land, and once established they should improve food availability for flying squirrels. Talus on the ridges of southcentral Pennsylvania provided the most encouraging results during surveys for the reclusive and largely solitary Allegheny woodrat, a state threatened species. In fall 2010, live trapping on a state forest in Huntingdon County resulted in the capture of two adult females, one adult male and four juveniles of various ages. Also in Huntingdon County, a new active woodrat site was found in a state park and recent sign was found on a State Game Lands. The primary responsibility of the PGC six regional wildlife diversity biologists is the habitat-based Private Landowner Assistance Program (PLAP). During 2010-11 fiscal year, regional diversity biologists prepared 119 plans for 12,759 acres. Since program inception in 2004, more than 930 plans have been produced for more than 140,680 privately owned acres. Regional diversity biologists also contribute to comprehensive planning for the state’s more than 1.4 million acres of game lands. We provided numerous wildlife related presentations to the public during the year, and routinely updated the agency website to expand the availability of wildlife information.

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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012

Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 1
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 4
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - BB1
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - BB2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - Cover4
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