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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Natural Heritage Program - NHP - Home

Natural Heritage Program

Data Services

Our Database Search summarizes Natural Heritage Program data by county, topo map, or statewide.

Do you use GIS software? Instructions on how to download shapefiles of our data can be found here.

Contribute Data

Contribute to the Natural Heritage Program database, download rare species survey forms, and learn about ecological research opportunities in North Carolina.

Publications

View a searchable list of NHP publications

Definitions of State and Federal protection statuses as well as a number of other terms can be found here.

Legislation and Policies

G.S. §113A-164 Nature Preserves Act

Administrative Code for Natural Heritage Program

Procedures for Re-evaluating Natural Area Designation

Request for Data Confidentiality

 

Mission

To provide science and incentives to inform conservation decisions and support conservation of significant natural areas in our state.

The North Carolina Natural Heritage Program is part of the Office of Land and Water Stewardship within the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The program serves as an information clearinghouse in support of conservation of the rarest and most outstanding elements of natural diversity in the state. These elements of natural diversity include plants and animals which are so rare or the natural communities which are so significant that they merit special consideration as land-use decisions are made.

Learn More...

  • The Natural Heritage Program follows methodology developed by The Nature Conservancy and shared by the Natural Heritage Network and NatureServe.
  • By consolidating information about hundreds of rare species and natural communities, the program ensures that the public is able to get the information that is needed to weigh the ecological significance of various sites, and to evaluate ecological impacts.
  • This information helps project planners and landowners make land use decisions that have the most benefit for society and the economy, while having the least ecological impact.
  • This information facilitates the establishment of priorities for the protection of North Carolina's most significant natural areas.
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