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State Wildlife Action Plan - Habitat

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The 2015 Indiana State Wildlife Action Plan is a habitat-based plan that provides an overview of conservation threats in Indiana and identifies needed actions. The SWAP includes biological aspects of wildlife and habitat conservation in the state, as well as information on the conservation organizations currently conducting on-the-ground efforts. It identifies conservation needs, organizations working in those arenas, and overlapping areas of interest for potential partnerships.

The 2015 SWAP divided the state into six planning regions, to better focus actions and priorities based on regional resources, needs and threats. The planning regions for Indiana’s SWAP were selected to reflect both aquatic and terrestrial systems. To increase the potential for conservation and management, it was important to consider both aquatic and terrestrial systems when creating the regions. The regions are broad, yet reasonable representation of the wildlife and habitats differences within Indiana’s landscape.

The 2015 SWAP focuses on the eight major habitat types from the 2005 Comprehensive Wildlife Strategy, but substitutes the standardized NatureServe classification system for 2005’s

The following major habitat types are used for the 2015 SWAP:

  1. Agricultural Lands: Lands devoted to commodity production, including intensively managed non-native grasses, row crops, fruit and nut-bearing trees.
  2. Aquatic Systems: All water habitats, both flowing and stationary, but not including wetlands.
  3. Barren Lands: Lands dominated by exposed rock or minerals with sparse vegetation.
  4. Developed Lands: Highly impacted lands, intensively modified to support human habitation, transportation, commerce and recreation.
  5. Forests: A plant community extending over a large area dominated by trees, the crowns of which form an unbroken covering layer or canopy.
  6. Grasslands: Open areas dominated by grass species.
  7. Subterranean Systems: Connected underground rooms and passages beyond natural light penetration.
  8. Wetlands: Temporarily or permanently flooded habitats, often supporting aquatic vegetation.

Habitat summaries