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Ecological Communities

Ecology Program

An ecological community is a variable assemblage of interacting plant and animal populations that share a common environment. As part of the New York Natural Heritage Program inventory, a classification has been developed to help assess and protect the biological diversity of the state. The Natural Heritage Program inventory work allows us to maintain a regularly updated database of information on rare animals, rare plants, and significant natural communities of New York State. This inventory also provides a ranking system for determining priorities for conservation and management of New York State's significant natural areas.

Ecological Communities of New York State Reports

The primary objective of these reports are to classify and describe ecological communities representing the full array of biological diversity of New York State.

Conservation Guides

These comprehensive factsheets about individual rare species and natural community types are designed to help land managers, decision-makers, planners, scientists, consultants, students, and the interested public better understand the biodiversity that characterizes New York. Conservation Guides include information on biology, identification, habitat, distribution, conservation, and management. Guides for many of New York's rare species and natural community types have been completed and are updated periodically, and more are continually being added to the Guides website. For more information please visit the NYNHP Conservation Guides webpage. (link leaves DEC's website)

Environmental Resource Mapper

This interactive mapping application can show you the general areas where rare animals, rare plants, and rare and significant natural communities (such as forests, wetlands, and other habitat types) have been documented by the NY Natural Heritage Program. The Environmental Resource Mapper also displays locations of New York regulated freshwater wetlands and of protected streams, rivers, and lakes. These maps are intended as one source of information for landowners, land managers, citizens, local officials, and project sponsors engaged in land use decision making, conservation, or environmental assessment.


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