Photo Courtesy of ClearWater Conservancy
Protected Bat Species Habitat Permanently Conserved
ClearWater Conservancy has permanently protected 214 acres of forested mountainside on the Frankstown branch of the Juniata River near Canoe Creek State Park. Surrounded by other conservation resources such as the Lower Rail Trail and State Game Lands, this is one of the first projects in the region to focus on landscape-scale conservation of habitat for protected bat species. The conservation easement preserves mature, deciduous broadleaf forest dominated with important roost tree species such as Shagbark Hickory and Slippery Elm, which are high-quality summer habitat for both the federally endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and federally threatened northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis).
The innovative project was made possible through a partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Magnolia LLC, and ClearWater Conservancy in which the land was established as a conservation bank. “This conservation bank provides permanent protection to some of the highest-quality, bat maternity, swarming and foraging habitat in the state, while making available offsets for statewide project impacts to federally listed bats,” said Pamela Shellenberger, a fish and wildlife biologist at the US Fish and Wildlife Pennsylvania Field Office.