Swallowtail Butterfly
Photo by Alex Busato
Wood ducks
Photo by George Reese

Flora and Fauna

In addition to being an Important Bird Area (IBA), the Buffalo Creek Watershed is home to many species of plants and animals – it’s an area of high biological diversity:

  • Over 100 species of birds breed in the watershed
  • 47 species of mammals have been documented – representing 77% of all species of mammals found in Pennsylvania
  • 14 species of mussels
  • 46 species of dragonflies and damselflies

The region’s biodiversity requires responsible stewardship because it contributes to the quality of life for area residents. It’s also an important economic element both as a natural resource and for regional tourism.

Many Species of Conservation Concern

The unique habitat of the watershed is home to many plants, mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians, insects, aquatic invertebrates, and fish. But this could change. Pennsylvania’s State Amphibian, the Eastern Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis), is one of the many species of conservation concern that has been documented in Buffalo Creek. This harmless (and incredibly cool) species breathes through its skin, feeds at night, and requires excellent water quality to survive.

Frog in water
Photo by George Reese
Blue Blister Beetle
Photo by George Reese

Uncommon and Unique habitats

Forests dominate this area, with large tracts of deciduous forest that provide critical habitat for Wood Thrush and Scarlet Tanagers. From forests to ravines, Buffalo Creek is home to unique habitats such as northern-hardwood conifer forests where hemlocks line steep and narrow ravines including Cornplanter Run. There are also large wetland areas along the main stem of Buffalo Creek and Little Buffalo Creek.

Song Sparrow
Photo by David Brooke