New York Natural Heritage Program

Our mission is to facilitate conservation of New York's biodiversity by providing comprehensive information and scientific expertise on rare species and natural ecosystems to resource managers and other conservation partners.

The NY Natural Heritage Program is a partnership between the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Our mission is to facilitate conservation of rare animals, rare plants, and natural ecosystems, which we commonly refer to as "natural communities." We accomplish this mission by working collaboratively with partners inside and outside New York to support stewardship of New York's rare plants, rare animals, and significant natural communities, and to reduce the threat of invasive species to native ecosystems. 

NY Natural Heritage maintains New York's most comprehensive database on the status and location of rare species and natural communities. We presently monitor 174 natural community types, 727 rare plant species, and 432 rare animal species across New York, keeping track of more than 11,900 locations where these species and communities are found.

Our data are essential for prioritizing those species and communities in need of protection and for guiding land-use and land-management decisions where these species and communities exist.

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