Kentucky is celebrated for its racehorses and fields of bluegrass, but even the casual observer also notices the wide range of flora and fauna found across the commonwealth. The state is home to a vast diversity of native species including black-throated green warblers, firebelly darters, lizard skin liverworts, and small yellow lady's-slippers. From the swamps along the Mississippi River to the rich mesophytic forests of the Appalachian Plateaus, the commonwealth of Kentucky hosts a variety of ecosystems, teerning with thousands of different species. ""Kentucky's Natural Heritage: An Illustrated Guide to Biodiversity"" provides a comprehensive analysis of the natural history of the commonwealth and showcases the state's variety of natural life. With some of the greatest levels of diversity of mussels, crayfishes, salamanders, and freshwater fishes, the national and global significance of Kentucky's aquatic systems are highlighted in this book. Each region contributes to the wealth of its natural heritage and inspires the protection of Kentucky's unique biodiversity. This anthology is a valuable and enduring guide to the extraordinary natural diversity of the commonwealth. Featuring more than 250 color photos, maps, and charts, ""Kentucky's Natural Heritage"" offers a lavishly illustrated, environmentally focused, and lasting account of the biodiversity found in the Bluegrass State. This is a lavishly illustrated, environmentally focused account of the Bluegrass State's biodiversity.
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.