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Conservation and Biodiversity

Resources in environmental conservation and biodiversity, especially in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania.

See also: Native Plants and Wildlife.

Selected Books

Brinkley, Douglas
The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, 1858-1919
Award-winning historian Brinkley argues that it was Theodore Roosevelt -- by setting aside 230 million acres of Wild America for posterity -- who turned conservationism into a universal endeavor.
Dowie, Mark
Conservation Refugees: The Hundred-Year Conflict Between Global Conservation and Native Peoples
GF50.D69 2009
Dowie exposes the disastrous treatment and expulsions of indigenous peoples living in nature reserves and parks by multinational conservation groups.
Fraser, Caroline
Rewilding the World: Dispatches from the Conservation Revolution
QH75.F738 2009
Fraser feels that the solution to the extinction of many animals is "rewilding" or "resurrection ecology" that designs wildlife refuges with corridors connecting one refuge to another.
Freyfogle, Eric T.
Why Conservation Is Failing and How It Can Regain Ground
S928.F74 2006
Freyfogle explores why the conservation movement has responded ineffectually to the many cultural and economic criticisms leveled against it. The cause must craft an overall goal and a vision of responsible private ownership.
Glavin, Terry
The Sixth Extinction: Journeys among the Lost and Left Behind
QH75.G554 2007x
Terry Glavin confirms that we are in the midst of a nearly unprecedented, catastrophic vanishing of animals, plants, and human cultures, including a vast human legacy of languages and our ways of living, seeing, and knowing.
Hawken, Paul
Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being, and Why No One Saw It Coming
GE195.H388 2007
Hawken charts the rise of the environmental and social justice movements.
Ward, Chip
Hope's Horizon: Three Visions for Healing the American Land
QH76.W37 2004
Environmental activist Ward reports on the activities of some 20 environmental organizations across the United States, arguing that the combined picture demonstrates an abandonment of simple defense strategies and an increased engagement with efforts to reconnect humans to the environment, heal entire ecosystems, and completely abandon technologies that are "incompatible with life itself."
Wohlforth, Charles P.
The Fate of Nature: Rediscovering Our Ability to Rescue the Earth
GF50.W64 2010
Wohlforth (The Whale and the Supercomputer) sets forth the environmental history of the Gulf of Alaska and its (and the earth's) future prospects.

Browse the Catalog

Additional books may be found by browsing the library catalog under the subject headings:

Pittsburgh Resources

  • Allegheny County Conservation District
    The Allegheny County Conservation District (ACCD) is an agency of State government having as its mission the conservation of natural resources within the County's boundaries.
  • The Allegheny Defense Project
    An activist organization comprised of scientists, environmentalists, economists, students, individuals, and organizations working to protect and restore the native forest of the Allegheny Plateau.
  • Allegheny Land Trust
    Allegheny Land Trust is an independent Pennsylvania nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in 1993 to protect land of natural value in and adjacent to Allegheny County. Allegheny Land Trust helps local people save local land that contributes to the scenic, recreational, educational and environmental wealth of our communities.
  • Butler County Conservation District
  • Carnegie Museum of Natural History: Catalog of Pennsylvania Biodiversity
    The Catalog of Pennsylvania Biodiversity (CPB) is an initiative to produce a comprehensive, verifiable and authoritative checklist of species occurring within the state of Pennsylvania. Click on "View Species List" to view contents.
  • Hollow Oak Land Trust
    Focuses on the conservation of resources, especially Montour Run Watershed, located in the five western Allegheny County municipalities (Coraopolis, Findlay, Moon, North Fayette, and Robinson) that make up the Pittsburgh International Airport corridor.
  • Latodami Nature Center
    The Latodami, located in Allegheny County's North Park, north of Pittsburgh, consists of a barn, a pond, stream and wetland habitats, 300 acres of forest and fields, and 13 thirteen trails. Their website contains information about the flora and fauna of Western Pennsylvania
  • Mt. Lebanon Nature Conservancy
    The purpose of the Mt. Lebanon Nature Conservancy is to promote the enhancement, growth and careful use of Mt. Lebanonís green space. Its purpose is also to foster an appreciation and respect for the environment and for the interdependent relationship that exists between people and nature.
  • Pennsylvania Biodiversity Partnership
    A Pittsburgh-based public private partnership dedicated to increasing awareness of the importance of biodiversity conservation in Pennsylvania. PBP's mission is to conserve biodiversity statewide by promoting communication and cooperation among a broad spectrum of stakeholders.
  • Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
    is an advocacy and support group for the four regional parks within the city of Pittsburgh - Frick, Highland, Riverview and Schenley.
    • Urban EcoSteward Program
      Stewards receive training from Parks Conservancy staff and other program partners and visit their park site throughout the year to remove invasive species, plant native flora, slow erosion, and clean up trash.
  • Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology
    The field station of the University of Pittsburgh Department of Biological Sciences dedicated to environmental education and ecological research. Offers summer courses and includes the Pymatuning Watershed Project.
  • Ruffed Grouse Society
    The ruffed grouse is Pennsylvania's state bird and the Ruffed Grouse Society is headquartered in Coraopolis, PA and consists mainly of grouse and woodcock hunters who support national scientific conservation and management efforts to ensure the future of the species.
  • Scott Conservancy
    The Scott Conservancy is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the active pursuit of the appropriate use, preservation, and development of both the natural and man-made environment.
  • South Side Pittsburgh Tree Project
    A community effort to grow green space on the South Side
  • Tree Pittsburgh
    Formerly Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest
    Tree Pittsburgh is an environmental non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the City's vitality by restoring and protecting City trees.
  • Trout Unlimited, Mountain Laurel Chapter
    The Mountain Laurel Chapter of Trout Unlimited in Johnstown, PA, is a volunteer cold water preservation and enhancement group and serves Cambria, Somerset & Bedford Counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
  • Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
    Pennsylvania's largest private land conservation organization whose one essential purpose is to conserve water, land, and wildlife.
  • Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club
    Interested in wild mushrooms but afraid to pick and eat them? Learn all about fungi with this local club.
  • Westmoreland Conservancy
    The Westmoreland Conservancy is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to "acquire and preserve rural and rustic lands for the public good" in Westmoreland County (east of Pittsburgh).
  • Westmoreland Conservation District
    The Westmoreland Conservation District was created by the Westmoreland County Commissions to further the conservation, restoration, and proper use of Westmoreland County's natural resources.


  • Conemaugh Valley Conservancy
    Involved in the forest and water enhancement project of the Kiski Basin Initiative and in the development of the West Penn Trail.
  • Eco-Express
    Eco-express takes local, relevant, story-based video segments and ties them to the environmental curriculum in schools.
  • Forests of the Central Appalachians Project
    Information on the biodiversity of the Central Appalachian forests of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. From Virginians for Wilderness.
  • Land Trust Alliance: Find a Land Trust in Pennsylvania
    You can search for Land Trusts in Pennsylvania by county for contact information and website link if one exists.
  • National Wild Turkey Federation, Pennsylvania Chapter
    Working for the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of the turkey hunting tradition.
  • Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. (PACD)
    Organized in 1950 to serve as a collective voice of Pennsylvania's conservation districts, PACD provides districts with education and information to help them in their work in land and water conservation and represents districts at the state and national levels in soil, water, and related resource management.
  • Pennsylvania Biological Survey (PABS)
    The Pennsylvania Biological Survey (PABS) is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is "to increase the knowledge of and foster the perpetuation of the natural biological diversity of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."
  • Pennsylvania Endangered and Threatened Species
  • Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program (PNHP)
    The Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program (PNHP) gathers and provides information on the location and status of important ecological resources (plants, vertebrates, invertebrates, natural communities and geologic features). PNHP is a partnership between The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
  • Southern Alleghenies Conservancy and Southern Alleghenies Resource Conservation & Development Area
    The Southern Alleghenies Conservancy is a regionally based non profit, non government corporation with 501 (c) (3) tax status organized to assist local organizations throughout the Southern Alleghenies region to carry out resource conservation activities which are first suggested by local communities. The Southern Alleghenies Conservancy acts as a land trust and grant recipient / administrator throughout the six county project area which include the counties of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon, and Somerset.
  • Trout in the Classroom
    Pennsylvania Trout In the Classroom (TIC) is an interdisciplinary program in which students in grades 3-12 learn about coldwater conservation while raising brook trout from eggs to fingerlings in a classroom aquarium. Created through a partnership between Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

U.S. Web Sites

  • American Bird Conservancy
    A nonprofit corporation dedicated to the conservation of wild birds and their habitats in the Americas.
  • American Chestnut Foundation
    Dedicated to restoring the American Chestnut tree, destroyed by the Chestnut blight at the beginning of this century.

  • Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative
    The Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative (ARRI) is a coalition of groups, including citizens, the coal industry, and government dedicated to restoring forests on coal mined lands in the Eastern United States.
  • Bat Conservation International
    The mission of Bat Conservation International is to protect and restore bats and their habitats worldwide. Their website includes links to bat resources around the world.
  • Conservation International
    A field-based, non-profit organization that protects the Earth's biologically richest areas and helps the people who live there improve their quality of life.
  • Ducks Unlimited
    A proponent of waterfowl and wetlands conservation.

  • Land Trust Alliance
    A Washington DC based organization that promotes voluntary land conservation and strengthens land trusts by providing the leadership, information, resources and skills needed to conserve land. Find a land trust by state.
  • National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
    A nonprofit charitable organization that awards challenge grants for projects that help conserve wildlife and their habitats, including Five-Star Restoration Challenge Grants that provide modest financial assistance to support community-based wetland and riparian restoration projects.
  • NatureServe
    NatureServe Explorer
    A source for authoritative conservation information on more than 50,000 plants, animals, and ecological communities of the United States and Canada, NatureServe Explorer provides in-depth information on rare and endangered species, but includes common plants and animals too. NatureServe Explorer is a product of NatureServe in collaboration with the Natural Heritage Network.

  • NOAA Habitat Conservation
    The NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation protects, restores, and promotes stewardship of coastal and marine habitat to support our nationís fisheries for future generations. They also work with other organizations to report on fish habitat within the U.S.
  • Pheasants Forever
    Pheasants Forever is a nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1982 in response to the decline of the ringneck pheasant population. There are 10 local chapters in Pennsylvania including the Tri-County (Washington, Fayette and Greene counties), Somerset County, and Laurel Highland.
  • Plant Conservation Alliance
    The PCA is a consortium of organizations and government agencies that address native plant extinction and native habitat restoration.
  • Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
    An international nonprofit wildlife conservation organization whose mission is to insure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat.
  • Trout Unlimited
    conservation organization to protect North America's coldwater fisheries.
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency charged with protecting and enhancing the populations and habitat of more than 800 species of birds that spend all or part of their lives in the United States.
  • US Geological Survey: Ecosystems
  • Wildlife Habitat Council
    A nonprofit, nonlobbying 501(c)(3) group of corporations, conservation organizations, and individuals, WHC helps large landowners, particularly corporations, manage their unused lands in an ecologically sensitive manner for the benefit of wildlife.


  • InfoNatura: Animals and Ecosystems of Latin America
    InfoNatura is a source for conservation information on the birds and mammals of Latin America and the Caribbean - more than 5,500 common, rare, and endangered species in 44 countries and territories. InfoNatura is a product of NatureServe in collaboration with Conservation Data Centers in 12 Latin American and Caribbean countries.
  • IUCN: World Conservation Union
    IUCN is the world's largest conservation-related organisation, bringing together 76 states, 111 government agencies, 732 NGOs, 36 affiliates, and some 10,000 scientists and experts from 181 countries in a unique worldwide partnership.
  • Invasive Species Specialist Group
    Global Invasive Species Database
    This database was developed by IUCN's Invasive Species Specialist Group as a contribution to Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP). Find out which plants and animals are most invasive.
  • Species 2000
    Species 2000 has the objective of enumerating all known species of plants, animals, fungi and microbes on Earth as the baseline dataset for studies of global biodiversity.
  • World Wildlife Fund
    Since its founding in 1961, WWF has become one of the world's largest and most effective independent organizations dedicated to the conservation of nature, operating in around 100 countries and supported by nearly five million people.