Status & Outcomes

Showy lady's-slipper, Visit the Wild Places

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MBS Strategic Plan 
This plan represents perspectives on the priorities and direction of the Minnesota Biological Survey, and will help the DNR and the Division of Ecological and Water Resources position MBS to continue the fundamental work it is carrying out in service of the people of Minnesota. MBS Strategic Plan (29mb)

The Minnesota Biological Survey (MBS) has enhanced our knowledge of the distribution and status of the state's flora, fauna, and native plant communities. To date MBS has:

Research, Monitoring, and Targeted Survey

In addition to gathering statewide baseline biological information, MBS conducts conservation research, monitoring, and specialized survey projects across Minnesota

  • The Minnesota Ecological Monitoring Network was established by MBS in 2017 to track ecological change throughout the state.
  • Surveys of native bees to broaden understanding of pollinator decline.
  • Intensive surveys for rare, rapidly declining prairie butterflies.
  • Long-term vegetation plot monitoring to assess effectiveness of grassland conservation grazing.
  • Radio-tracking of selected reptile species to identify overwintering sites, nesting sites, and foraging ranges.
  • Monitoring sites of high conservation value to meet requirements for DNR's sustainable forestry certification.
  • Monitoring of small white lady's-slipper in Minnesota, home to the world's largest concentration of the species.
  • Annual monitoring of federally endangered plant species, including dwarf trout lily, western prairie fringed orchid, and prairie bush clover.
  • Resampling of historic vegetation monitoring plots in Minnesota's peatlands to assess influence of climate change.

Managing, Interpreting, and Delivering Information

MBS delivers data and information to a wide array of users, from resource managers to conservation organizations seeking to learn about and enjoy the natural world around them.

  • Data and guidance for management and conservation of parks and preserves such as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, State Parks, and Nature Conservancy preserves.
  • Comprehensive books on habitats of portions of the state.
  • Field guides to Minnesota's native plant communities.
  • Comprehensive books on habitats of portions of the state.
  • Technical expertise for sustainable management of forests, prairies, and wetlands.
  • Guidance to Minnesota's Prairie Conservation Plan.
  • Major contributions to the DNR's web-based Rare Species Guide.
  • Plant and animal specimens submitted to museum collections.
  • Data on rare species and native plant communities are provided for every environmental review assessment done by the DNR.

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