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Protecting Wisconsin's biodiversity

Van Vliet Hemlocks SNA
Van Vliet Hemlocks State Natural Area. © Thomas Meyer, Wisconsin DNR.

"The value of biodiversity is more than the sum of its parts."

-Bryan G. Norton

Biodiversity is a shortened form of the term "biological diversity." Simply stated, it is the entire spectrum of life forms and the many ecological processes that support them. Wisconsin is blessed with abundant biodiversity. Located at the junction of the eastern deciduous forest, northern boreal forest and temperate grasslands, we have a wealth of species and natural communities. 

Learn about Wisconsin's rare species and natural communities

Approximately 1,800 species of native plants and close to 700 species of native vertebrates have been identified in Wisconsin. In addition, there are thousands of species of non-vascular plants and invertebrates. These pages highlight the uncommon and rare species, along with natural communities, geological features and important habitat areas found throughout Wisconsin.