Natural Heritage Program

The Natural Heritage Inventory Program maintains a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) database which contains information on the distribution and ecology of rare plants, animals, and ecological communities across Tennessee. The Natural Heritage Inventory Program uses the Natural Heritage Methodology - based on that of its parent organization NatureServe - for the most recent taxonomic information, ecological community classification, methodology, and software development.

Submit Rare Species Data

Our agency relies on information gathered from a variety of sources to facilitate conservation efforts. You may be able to help provide such information. Do you know the location of an exemplary or relatively undisturbed natural community? Do you have site information for a particular rare species? Once we receive your information, it will be verified and entered into our database. The information will be used to update species range maps, identify and develop recommendations for the protection of species that could be impacted by development, and for general conservation planning purposes.

Providing rare taxa element occurrence (EO) data in a spreadsheet, database table or KML file can greatly speed up our work in converting it to an EO record (EOR) and getting it into our database. Electronic submission of data is especially helpful for large data sets. Please use the Excel spreadsheet to submit your data, including data collected under a scientific collecting permit. Use the Online Observation Form for single observations.

Publicly Available Natural Heritage Data

Search and download data by County, Quadrangle, Watershed, or MS4 using our Rare Species Data ViewerInternet Explorer is no longer supported for our Data Viewer applications. Please use one of the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.

Site Specific Data Requests

Natural Heritage data requests that cannot be fulfilled using the data viewer above should contact the Natural Heritage Data Manager, Dillon Blankenship, at   If related to an Environmental Review request see the Environmental Review instructions: