Monitoring Biodiversity with Kentucky's Natural Heritage Program
The Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves works in partnership with NatureServe, the international natural heritage network that monitors biodiversity of plants, animals, ecological communities, and other natural features.
The primary source of information for the Kentucky Natural Heritage Database is inventories conducted by KNP biologists and other
scientists to gather information on the distribution, abundance, and life history of flora, fauna, and natural communities in Kentucky. This information is used to determine which species and natural
communities in Kentucky are the most vulnerable to decline and eventual
extinction. This is also the basis for KNP
activities such as development of the state listing of rare species,
identification of sites of biological significance, and public and
technical educational materials.
Additionally the database is utilized to conduct environmental reviews in an effort to reduce impacts from various types of projects. Federal and state agencies, private consultants, nonprofits and citizens also utilize products generated by KNP to assist them in making informed decisions about proposed activities throughout the state. This information is available in real-time online through use of the KNP's Kentucky Biological Assessment Tool (KyBAT).