Minnesota Biological Survey

image of monarch butterflies on Liatrus ligulistylus plantsThe Minnesota Biological Survey (MBS) systematically collects, interprets, monitors and delivers data on plant and animal distribution as well as the ecology of native plant communities and functional landscapes. More about the survey

What's new in MBS

eastern newt

Special specialists

Fully a third of MN's 508 bee species live on the edge by exploiting a narrow range of plant resources. Learn about these "specialists" in this Minnesota Conservation Volunteer article.

tricolored bat

MN Bats...hanging-on!

MBS staff recently counted hibernating bats at a Southeast MN site. After years of dismal numbers...some signs of hope!

eastern newt

What's new(t)?

MBS Zoologist Jeff LeClere gives us the lowdown on an adaptable little salamander in this Minnesota Conservation Volunteer article.


MBS helps document over 500 bee species native to Minnesota!

Minnesota Public Radio looks at the painstaking work required to document Minnesota's diverse and numerous species of native bees.


MBS Strategic Plan

Perspectives and priorities for MBS, 2019-2029. MBS Strategic Plan


Minnesota Conservation Explorer

A dynamic new tool for submitting and delivering data on Minnesota's rare features!
Explore the Minnesota Conservation Explorer

plant watch list

Plant and Fungi Watch List: on the lookout!

Learning more about the distribution and abundance of these species may inform future protection decisions (02/01/2022).

MCV article

"How are insects doing in Minnesota?"

MBS invertebrate ecologist Dr. Jessica Petersen waxes on the past and future of Minnesota's insects in this Minnesota Conservation Volunteer article. (07/21/2020).

MCV article

Minnesota's first biological "census"

Wrapping up Minnesota's initial statewide biological diversity assessment is discussed in this Minnesota Public Radio feature (04/22/2020).

MCV article

MBS: "The Big Reveal"

In this Minnesota Conservation Volunteer article, an MBS plant ecologist pulls back the curtain on this important project.

one of the moths encountered

The EMN crew: on the road...and the radio!

The MBS Ecological Monitoring Network (EMN) is featured in this radio broadcast.

one of the moths encountered

Marvelous moths...and more!

Searching for Minnesota's enigmatic moths will leave you out in the cold.

an orangespot sunfish documented by MBS

A Prairie Stream Fish Bonanza!

A display of some of the beautiful-and-overlooked fish species found in Minnesota’s prairie streams, creeks and ditches during the summer of 2018.

a bat wing showing the effects of the WNS disease

Surveying Minnesota’s Vulnerable Bats

Working through the night, the MBS Bat Crew keep tags on Minnesota’s bats.

MBS 30th Anniversary

MBS 30th Anniversary!

For 30 years, biologists with MBS have been combing the state, looking for remnants of native vegetation and rare plant and animal species. Check out the anniversary page for a look at our progress!

Bruce spanworm

Lepidoptera Update

Last week, MBS Entomologist, Kyle Johnson, detailed a late season Lepidoptera update with plenty of vivid photographs!

Flowers of the purple-flowered bladderwort

Aquatic Survey Update

MBS is known for assessing prairies and forests, but did you know we also study 'hidden forests' in lakes and rivers. MBS Plant Survey Supervisor, Hannah Texler, provided an aquatic plant team update!

Prairie map

MBS updates map of remaining prairies!

At the time of European settlement (mid 1800s), Minnesota had 18 million acres of tallgrass prairie. Today only a little more than 1 percent (about 250,000 acres) of the original prairie remains.

More "What's New in MBS"

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