Natural Heritage Program

Maryland Natural Heritage Program

Wildlife biologists in the fieldMaryland is often referred to as "America in miniature” and its location contains a diverse landscape, including a wide range of natural communities, physiographic provinces and natural features. From the barrier islands, cypress swamps and Delmarva bays of the Eastern Shore to the mountain boreal bogs, caves, and hemlock woods of the Appalachian Plateau, our state encompasses a tremendous diversity of habitats that support an impressive variety of species.

Since 1979, the Maryland Natural Heritage Program (MD NHP) has been the lead state agency responsible for protecting and managing nongame, rare, threatened, and endangered species and their habitats in Maryland.The main duties of Maryland Natural Heritage Program biologists are to:

  1. Perform field surveys and scientific research
  2. Maintain data needed to conserve species and habitats
  3. Provide technical guidance on rare species conservation
  4. Restore ecosystems

Wildlife biologists conducting a burnCurrently, the Maryland Natural Heritage Program tracks over 1,250 rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals, as well as variety of natural communities. Our biologists work to guide conservation and management of these species and communities on regional, state, and national scales. By focusing energies on those plants, animals, and habitats which are most in danger of disappearing, the Program helps to ensure that these essential elements of Maryland's diverse biological heritage do not vanish from our landscape.