Natural Heritage Program

The Natural Heritage Inventory Program maintains a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) database which contains information on the distribution and ecology of rare plants, animals, and ecological communities across Tennessee. The Natural Heritage Inventory Program uses the Natural Heritage Methodology - based on that of its parent organization NatureServe - for the most recent taxonomic information, ecological community classification, methodology, and software development.

Public Notice: Amendment to make changes to the rare plant list. The following documents contain the proposed changes and contact info. PDF 1 (highlighted in red proposed changes) and PDF 2 (signed copy with changes implemented).

Submit Rare Species Data

Our agency relies on information gathered from a variety of sources to facilitate conservation efforts. You may be able to help provide such information. Do you know the location of an exemplary or relatively undisturbed natural community? Do you have site information for a particular rare species? Once we receive your information, it will be verified and entered into our database. The information will be used to update species range maps, identify and develop recommendations for the protection of species that could be impacted by development, and for general conservation planning purposes.

Providing rare taxa element occurrence (EO) data in a spreadsheet, database table or KML file can greatly speed up our work in converting it to an EO record (EOR) and getting it into our database. Electronic submission of data is especially helpful for large data sets. Please use the Excel spreadsheet to submit your data, including data collected under a scientific collecting permit. 

Publicly Available Natural Heritage Data

Search and download data by County, Quadrangle, Watershed, or MS4 using our Rare Species Data Viewer.