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

Wisconsin's natural communities

Natural community, photo courtesy of Thomas A. Meyer

Forbes Springs State Natural Area. Photo by Thomas Meyer, Wisconsin DNR.

A community is an assemblage of different plant and animal species, living together in a particular area, at a particular time, in a specific habitat. Communities may be named for their dominant plant species, for example, pine barrens, sedge meadows and oak savannas, a prominent environmental feature - Great Lakes Dune, Dry Cliff - or some combination of these factors. Communities range in size from less than an acre to thousands of acres. Communities are dynamic and always changing. Some change may be rapid while other change is too slow for many humans to notice during their brief lifetimes.

The Natural Heritage Inventory tracks examples of all types of Wisconsin's natural communities that are deemed significant because of their undisturbed condition, size, what occurs around them or for other reasons. These pages provide descriptions, general locations and other information for Wisconsin's natural communities. The communities are presented in aggregated groups.

Last revised: Tuesday, November 28, 2017