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Cumberland River (from the cover of Kentucky's Natural Heritage) ~ photo by Thomas G. Barnes

Kentucky's Natural Heritage: An Illustrated Guide to Biodiversity


 Front Cover of Kentucky's Natural Heritage

 Sample Pages:

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Sample Pages from Introduction: Biodiversity


Sample Pages from Natural Regions
Natural Regions

Sample Pages from Seed Plants and Ferns
Seed Plants and Ferns


 Sample Pages from Rare Species and Natural Communities
Rare Species/Communities

Sample Pages from Aquatic Communities
Aquatic Communities

From the Foreword by Wendell Berry:
“A publication and an event of inestimable significance...No other book that I have read has helped me so much to think about the land of Kentucky, of the reciprocity of influence and the sharing of fate between the land and ourselves...It gives us a competent sense of the state’s native health and abundance before European settlement, of what and how much we have lost or wasted or used up, and of what is left—differences heartbreaking to think about."

From the Inside Flap:
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.

How to Get a Copy:
Copies are available via KSNPC's Bookstore, University Press of Kentucky and most bookstores throughout the state.

The latest issue of University of Louisville's Sustain Magazine includes a modified excerpt from Kentucky's Natural Heritage. Read the excerpt along with several other great articles by downloading Issue 25: Biodiversity.

What Others are Saying
Kentucky's Vanishing Wonders: Nature Book Shows What's Still Here, and What's Gone - by Susan Reigler, Courier-Journal
New Book Celebrates Kentucky's Flora and Fauna - by Andy Mead, Lexington Herald-Leader
Listen Up: You Need This If You Love Kentucky - Page One blog