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Environmental Review & Rare Species Lists

Natural Heritage

Environmental Review & Rare Species Lists Overview

The Division of Natural Areas (DNA) maintains Biotics 5, the state's most comprehensive and up to date repository of data regarding the status and distribution of state and federal concern plant and animal species, ecologically important sites, and conservation managed lands. These data can be used in the planning process or as a general screening tool for identifying potential impacts to natural heritage resources; however they cannot be substituted for on-site biological surveys. DNA is committed to providing its clients - including public agencies, private institutions and individuals - the best available natural heritage resource data consistent with protection and security of these resources.

At this time, the DNA offers the following information services: rare plant and animal lists, online interactive rare species database search, permits, forms, and site specific environmental reviews. Many of these services are available to the public free of charge, while some require a fee and/or signing a data use agreement for access to the data.

DNA answers questions and provides technical assistance pertaining to the status and distribution of state and federal concern plant and animal species, ecologically important sites, and conservation lands. For information on our environmental consultation process, please visit Environmental Consultation Requests at TDEC.

Publicly Available Natural Heritage Data



Rare and Endangered Species Lists

Hardcopy lists of plants and animals that are ranked as rare by the Natural Heritage Program are available as PDF documents for download. These lists contain Federal and State legal status listings and global and state rarity ranks. Status and ranking are subject to change during the year, so periodically check our web site to make certain you have the most recent information.

Interactive Rare Species Database by County, Quadrangle, and Watershed Listings

The majority of lands in Tennessee have had no rare species surveys, and the lack of point-specific data can be misleading. Therefore, the DNA suggests reviewing and downloading generalized data through an interactive, searchable database in order to determine what kinds of resources occur in specific counties, watersheds, or physiographic regions.

Environmental Review – Project Review

($150/project; add $50 for each additional USGS Quadrangle Covered)

The Natural Heritage Program currently tracks over 1100 rare and endangered plant and animal species as well as hundreds of conservation sites across the state. This information is collected through ongoing research and field investigations by the Division and other scientists from across the State, as well as from scientific literature, museum collections, and other sources and is continually analyzed and updated. Natural Heritage data is not only important in identifying areas of ecological significance for conservation and restoration activities, but is also a valuable tool in the environmental review process.

For environmental review planning, the DNA encourages using the Interactive Rare Species Database link above. However, if you would like site-specific data of known state and federal concern plant and animal species, ecologically significant sites, and certain conservation managed lands, we can perform such reviews for $150 per project. DNA staff will prepare and send to the requesting entity a list and/or map of rare species documented within a one-mile radius of the project area, as well as a list of species documented from the surrounding area within four miles. Larger projects and linear projects that cover an area greater than a 4-mile radius shall be charged $50 for each additional USGS 1:24,000 quadrangle included in the project area.

Please complete the Project Review Form and submit, along with a site map, GPS coordinates or shapefile if possible, to the Natural Heritage Data Manager. Data requests are usually filled within 10 working days and e-mailed to the receiving entity with an invoice for payment.

Please contact the Natural Heritage Data Manager at (615) 532-4799 for more information.