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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Natural Heritage Program - Natural Heritage Element Occurrences

Natural Heritage Program

Natural Heritage Element Occurrences

The Natural Heritage Program collects information on occurrences of rare plants, animals, natural communities, and animal assemblages. Collectively, these are referred to as "elements of natural diversity" or simply as "elements." Locations of these elements are referred to as "element occurrences."

Many element occurrences are on private land and are not accessible without landowner permission.

As of July 2015, the Natural Heritage Program has nearly 29,000 element occurrence records for the 1900+ elements we track, including records for approximately:

  • 5,800 vertebrate animals
  • 2,600 invertebrate animals
  • 11,400 vascular plants
  • 1,100 nonvascular plants
  • 550 animal assemblages
  • 7,400 natural communities
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