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Indiana Natural Heritage Data Center celebrates 40th anniversary
Start Date: 5/2/2018
Event Description:
A state program that inventories Indiana’s unique natural areas, including locations of rare and endangered plants and animals, fragile habitats and uncommon ecological and geological features, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

The Indiana Natural Heritage Data Center (INHDC), part of the DNR Division of Nature Preserves, began on May 19, 1978, when then-Gov. Otis Bowen signed it into existence. At the time, INHDC was one of just 12 programs of its kind nationwide.

INHDC formed as a collaborative project between the State, The Nature Conservancy and the Indiana Energy Association. The center provides an objective, scientific basis for making conservation decisions about unique environmental resources.

To date, the INHDC has recorded the locations of more than 18,000 occurrences of rare or endangered species, more than 1,000 occurrences of high-quality natural communities, and more than 800 significant natural areas. These include records for 80 globally critically imperiled species.

This information has resulted in many places receiving protection through Indiana’s system of nature preserves, which encompasses 284 properties totaling more than 53,000 acres.

Companies and consultants also use INHDC data when planning projects in order to avoid sensitive and rare species and sites. INHDC information is also an essential component of the DNR’s environmental review process to avoid affecting sensitive natural areas.

Current INHDC projects include surveys of natural areas in Hoosier National Forest; surveys for bees, stoneflies and beetles; monitoring of state and federally listed species; and participating with partners in restoration efforts that target several species and natural areas.

INHDC is part of a network of heritage programs in all 50 states, all Canadian provinces and many Latin American countries. This network is coordinated by NatureServe, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing scientific knowledge to support informed decisions.

Originally part of the DNR Division of Outdoor Recreation, INHDC moved to the Division of Nature Preserves in 1984.

To view all DNR news releases, please see
Contact Information:
Name: Marty Benson
Phone: 317-233-3853
State calendar entry type:
Press Release
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State calendar classification:
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