Kentucky's abundance of plant and animal life, from the bottomland swamps in the west to the rich Appalachian forests in the east, is extraordinary as well as beautiful. Glades, prairies, forests, wetlands, rivers, and caves form a biologically diverse patchwork that is unique to the state. Kentucky's Natural Heritage: An Illustrated Guide to Biodiversity provides an essential reference to the remarkable natural history of the commonwealth and is a rallying call for the conservation of this priceless legacy.
Kentucky's ecosystems teem with diverse native species, some of which are found nowhere else in the world. Kentucky's Natural Heritage brings these sometimes elusive creatures into close view, from black-throated green warblers to lizard skin liverworts. The aquatic systems of the state are home to rainbow darters, ghost crayfish, salamander mussels, and an impressive array of other species that constitute some of the greatest levels of freshwater diversity on the planet.
Kentucky's Natural Heritage presents a persuasive argument for conservation of the state's biodiversity. Organized by a team from the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, the book is an outgrowth of the agency's focus on biodiversity protection.
Richly detailed and lavishly illustrated with more than 250 color photos, maps, and charts, Kentucky's Natural Heritage is the definitive compendium of the commonwealth's amazing diversity. It celebrates the natural beauty of some of the most important ecosystems in the nation and presents a compelling case for the necessity of conservation.
Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, part of the Energy and Environment Cabinet, was created in 1976. Greg Abernathy is a geographic information systems specialist with the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission. Deborah White, natural heritage branch manager and senior botanist at the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, is a coauthor of Rare Wildflowers of Kentucky. Ellis L. Laudermilk is an invertebrate zoologist at the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission. Marc Evans, senior ecologist retired from the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, is a coauthor of Rare Wildflowers of Kentucky and Landscape Restoration Handbook.