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For information on Wisconsin's natural communities, contact:
Ryan O'Connor
Natural Heritage Inventory Ecologist

Lacustrine Mud Flat

State Rank: SU     Global Rank: GNR   what are these ranks?


Detailed Community Description from Ecological Landscapes of Wisconsin

General natural community overview

Lacustrine Mud Flats are largely an anthropogenic community created on impoundments where managers purposefully manipulate water levels to provide habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl. Managers often seed the areas with food plants (native or non-native) meant to attract wildlife.

Rare animals

Species of Greatest Conservation Need

Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan graphic

The following Species of Greatest Conservation Need are listed according to their level of association with the Lacustrine Mud Flat natural community type, based on the findings in Wisconsin's 2015 Wildlife Action Plan.

Scores: 3 = high association, 2 = moderate association, and 1 = low association. See the key to association scores for complete definitions.

Blanchard's Cricket FrogAcris blanchardi1

Rusty BlackbirdEuphagus carolinus2
American BitternBotaurus lentiginosus1
Black-crowned Night-HeronNycticorax nycticorax1
Black-necked StiltHimantopus mexicanus1
Great EgretArdea alba1
King RailRallus elegans1
Least BitternIxobrychus exilis1
Peregrine FalconFalco peregrinus1
Piping PloverCharadrius melodus1
Rufa Red KnotCalidris canutus rufa1
Spruce GrouseFalcipennis canadensis1
Upland SandpiperBartramia longicauda1
Whooping CraneGrus americana1
Yellow RailCoturnicops noveboracensis1
Yellow-crowned Night-HeronNyctanassa violacea1

Big Brown BatEptesicus fuscus3
Little Brown BatMyotis lucifugus3
Silver-haired BatLasionycteris noctivagans3
Northern Long-eared BatMyotis septentrionalis2
Tricolored BatPerimyotis subflavus2
Water ShrewSorex palustris1

Eastern MassasaugaSistrurus catenatus2
Wood TurtleGlyptemys insculpta2
Blanding's TurtleEmydoidea blandingii1
Eastern RibbonsnakeThamnophis sauritus1
Western RibbonsnakeThamnophis proximus1

Please see Section 2. Approach and Methods of the Wildlife Action Plan to learn how this information was developed.


The following Ecological Landscapes have the best opportunities to manage for Lacustrine Mud Flat, based on the Ecological Landscapes of Wisconsin Handbook.

Map of the Ecological Landscapes of Wisconsin.

Major (3 on map)
A major opportunity for sustaining the natural community in the Ecological Landscape exists, either because many significant occurrences of the natural community have been recorded in the landscape or major restoration activities are likely to be successful maintaining the community's composition, structure, and ecological function over a longer period of time.

Important (2 on map)
Although the natural community does not occur extensively or commonly in the Ecological Landscape, one to several occurrences do occur and are important in sustaining the community in the state. In some cases, important opportunities may exist because the natural community may be restricted to just one or a few Ecological Landscapes within the state and there may be a lack of opportunities elsewhere.

Present (1 on map)
The natural community occurs in the Ecological Landscape, but better management opportunities appear to exist in other parts of the state.


Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan graphic

What are conservation actions?

Conservation actions respond to issues or threats, which adversely affect species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) or their habitats. Besides actions such as restoring wetlands or planting resilient tree species in northern communities, research, surveys and monitoring are also among conservation actions described in the WWAP because lack of information can threaten our ability to successfully preserve and care for natural resources.

Threats/issues and conservations actions for natural communities


Lacustrine Mud Flat Photos

Lacustrine Mud Flat Photo

Zoned herbaceous vegetation bordering fluctuating seepage lake. Sedge meadow and lacustrine mud flat communities are seen here. Hanson Lake, Sawyer County.

Photo by Emmet Judziewicz.

Note: photos are provided to illustrate various examples of natural community types. A single photograph cannot represent the range of variability inherent in a given community type. Some of these photos explicitly illustrate unusual and distinctive community variants. The community photo galleries are a work in progress that we will expand and improve in the future.

Last revised: Tuesday, August 30, 2022