Understanding our environment

Kansas Natural Heritage Inventory: Rare plants and animals, and natural communities

The Kansas Natural Heritage Inventory maintains an integrated database management system containing comprehensive biological data on the plants, animals and natural communities of Kansas.

Conservation status ranks have been assigned to all plants, all vertebrate animals and select invertebrate animals. Site-specific location data are maintained for more than 400 taxa of rare plants and 238 species of rare animals, as well as for the 70 natural plant communities identified in the state.

We have been developing these databases for more than 25 years and continue to add updated information as it becomes available. Thus, the Heritage program is a comprehensive source of both historical and current information on the biodiversity of Kansas. This information is a valuable resource that can be used to assist with project planning, environmental review, research and conservation planning.

Rare species data are available through the Kansas Biological Survey's Kansas Natural Resource Planner, an online mapping tool. To request a review for a specific project area, please see our page on data and project reviews.

Lists of the rare plants, rare animals and natural communities for which we maintain site-specific information (our “Element Tracking” lists) are available here. Each species and natural community is assigned global and state conservation status ranks.
Rare plant tracking list
Rare invertebrate tracking list
Rare vertebrate tracking list
Natural community tracking list
Explanation of heritage ranks and status codes

Individuals with information on the species listed on our Element Tracking lists are invited to contribute to the databases by completing the rare animal and rare plant reporting forms or by contacting us directly. This information will be used to improve our knowledge and protection of the state’s rare resources. Please use the appropriate downloadable rare species reporting form:
Rare animal reporting form
Rare plant reporting form

Protected plants in Kansas
Coefficients of Conservatism for Kansas Vascular Plants
Explanation of Coefficients of Conservatism for Kansas Vascular Plants

Key publications
Classification of the Natural Vegetation of Kansas
Native Prairie Hay Meadow Management Guide

Links to other resources on Kansas plants and animals
Kansas wildflower photo gallery (KU Libraries)
Kansas Mammal Atlas
Kansas Herpetofaunal Atlas
Kansas Threatened and Endangered Wildlife (Kansas Dept. of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism)
 

 


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