Share your observations

Share your observations of plants or non-game animals with the Natural Heritage Inventory

Rare animals
Find rare and non-game animals.
Rare plants
Learn about plants on the Natural Heritage Working List.
Rare lichens
Discover Wisconsin's lichens.
Natural communities
Explore Wisconsin's natural communities.
Other features
Discover unique resources.
Eagle license plate

Help care for rare plants and animals by ordering an Endangered Resources plate.

Contact information
For information on Wisconsin's rare vertebrate animals, contact:
Rich Staffen
Conservation Biologist
For information on Wisconsin's rare invertebrates, contact:
Jay Watson
Conservation Biologist

Wisconsin's rare animals

Slender glass lizard, photo courtesy of Nick Walton

Slender glass lizard (Ophisaurus attenuatus), photo © Nick Walton.

All of Wisconsin's rare species are found on the Natural heritage working list. Species become rare for a number of reasons, including habitat loss, habitat degradation, highly specialized habitat needs, disturbance sensitivity, genetic problems, exploitation, persecution, predation, competition and parasitism. Some rare species are present here at the edges of their main ranges. Invasive species and climate change are also impacting rare species and expected to become even bigger factors in the future.

Explore rare species pages

These pages contain information about Wisconsin's rare animals, including where they are found in the state, their level of legal protection and photos. Life history and management considerations are available for many species, and new information is continually being added.

Last revised: Thursday, December 22, 2022