Contribute Data

Your Observations Are Important

To continue building a comprehensive, up-to-date database of information on the locations of rare species and ecological communities in New York State, we invite your contributions.

If you have seen a rare plant or animal, please fill out an online Rare Species Reporting Form. The information you provide on the form will be reviewed for inclusion in our database. (If you have information on an ecological community, please contact our Chief Ecologist, Greg Edinger,

We are interested in any information on:

  • rare flowering plants, ferns, fern allies, and mosses.
  • animals - including rare species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, butterflies, moths, beetles, dragonflies and damselflies, mayflies, crayfish, land snails, and freshwater mussels.
  • In addition, the program collects data on significant animal concentration areas, including bat hibernacula, wintering raptors, and nesting areas of terns, herons, and gulls.

Lists of the species which NY Natural Heritage considers rare are available for vascular plants (PDF, 1.6 MB), mosses (PDF, 170 KB), and animals (PDF, 882 KB).

Reports of rare plants, and of some animals, require photos or specimens to confirm identification. Only collect specimens legally, with appropriate permits and/or landowner permission, and only if there will be no harm to the population.

For birds, use this form only for observations of one or more individual rare birds during the breeding season, or for large concentrations of rare birds during migration or winter.

Instructions for the Rare Species Reporting Form

The Rare Species Reporting Form is for first-hand observations in the field. If the source of your information is a report, letter, or other document, please send a copy of the document to the address below, or e-mail a copy to for animals or for plants.

Fields in the form that are marked with a * are required. Fill in other fields if the information is available and applicable.

Enter GPS coordinates into the form, and/or submit with the form a file with a map with the location of the rare plants or animals clearly marked. Alternatively, send a map separately to the address below.

Also submit with the form any digital photos of the rare plants or animals, or send photos to the address below:

New York Natural Heritage Program
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, 5th Floor
Albany, NY 12233-4757

+1 (518) 402-8935

Feb. 7, 2021 | Updated Feb. 8, 2021, 10:02 a.m.