Monday, February 2, 2009

DNR publishes online reference guide to rare species

Information about Minnesota’s endangered, threatened, and special-concern plant and animal species is now available in a new online reference tool from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The Rare Species Guide replaces the 1988 DNR book, “Minnesota’s Endangered Flora and Fauna,” and is available online.

“Minnesota citizens, land managers and others can use this interactive, easy to use reference for information about the state’s rarest species,” said DNR project manager, Sarah Wren.

The comprehensive web resource combines knowledge from years of scientific study and management experience by DNR biologists and external experts. It includes a collection of profiles of more than 400 rare species. Each profile features life history, habitat, and conservation information, as well as Minnesota and North American range maps and species photographs and/or illustrations.

The guide allows users to search for species profiles based on common or scientific name; state and federal endangerment status; broad taxonomic group (such as mammals or birds); habitat; location (including counties, watersheds, and ecological classification system subsections); and/or keyword.

In addition to the species profiles, the Rare Species Guide also includes information on Minnesota’s endangered species law and permits, why species become rare, and much more.

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