Flora and fauna

Maple, walnut, poplar, oak, pine, ash, beech, and linden trees fill Pennsylvania's extensive forests, along with sassafras, sycamore, weeping willow, and balsam fir (Abies fraseri). Red pine and paper birch are found in the north while the sweet gum is dominant in the extreme southwest. Mountain laurel (the state flower), June-berry, dotted hawthorn, New Jersey tea, and various dogwoods are among the shrubs and small trees found in most parts of the state, and dewberry, wintergreen, wild columbine, and wild ginger are also common. In 2003, the small whorled pogonia and Virginia spirea were classified as threatened, with the northeastern bulrush as endangered.

Numerous mammals persist in Pennsylvania, among them the white-tailed deer (the state animal), black bear, red and gray foxes, opossum, raccoon, muskrat, mink, snowshoe hare, common cottontail, and red, gray, fox, and flying squirrels. Native amphibians include the hellbender, Fowler's toad, and the tree, cricket, and true frogs; among reptilian species are the five-lined and black skinks and five varieties of lizard. The ruffed grouse, a common game species, is the official state bird; other game birds are the wood dove, ring-necked pheasant, bobwhite quail, and mallard and black ducks. The robin, cardinal, English sparrow, red-eyed vireo, cedar waxwing, tufted titmouse, yellow-shafted flicker, barn swallow, blue jay, and killdeer are common non-game birds. More than 170 types of fish have been identified in Pennsylvania, with brown and brook trout, grass pickerel, bigeye chub, pirate perch, and white bass among the common native varieties.

In 1978, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the US Fish and Wildlife Service signed a cooperative agreement under which the federal government provides two dollars for each dollar spent by the state to determine the status of and improve conditions for threatened or endangered species. On the threatened or endangered list in 2003 were 14 species, including the Indiana bat, bald eagle, orangefoot pimpleback pearly mussel, dwarf wedgemussel, and pink mucket pearlymussel.