Nature

New York has an astonishing wealth of land and water resources, as well as a wide variety of wildlife that live within these different ecosystems. From the shorelines of Long Island to the high peaks of the Adirondacks, New York features different landscapes that are home to numerous species of animals, fish, and plants. Each of these regions has different requirements for optimal health and DEC's mission is to ensure the balance and protection of all ecosystems across New York State while also providing people the chance to see it for themselves. There are countless ways and opportunities to experience all the beauty nature has to offer, as well as learn more about what's around us. DEC works hard to protect these features and there are also plenty of opportunities for you to lend a hand. Use the links below to get general information about the main categories of animals and plants, as well as more details about the life patterns and habitats of some popular, interesting species.

Grown fox and baby fox in woods
Helpful Wildlife Links

Support Animals and Plants That Share Your Habitat

The biodiversity of New York includes all the different species of animals, plants, fungi, and even microorganisms and bacteria living in the state.

Peregrine falcon in tree
Helpful Wildlife Links

Understand Endangered Species

DEC's Endangered Species Program focuses on the most sensitive elements in the system. It is designed to find and correct fish or wildlife problems before certain species are gone forever.

Bear with trash can
Helpful Wildlife Links

Manage Conflicts with Nuisance Species

Encounters with wildlife have become more numerous as a result of urban growth into an animal's natural habitat.

barred owl
Helpful Wildlife Links

Help Abandoned or Injured Wildlife

Our program promotes the health and long term sustainability of wildlife populations through integration of the fields of wildlife ecology, wildlife management, and veterinary medicine.

Boars in field
Helpful Wildlife Links

Control the Spread of Invasive Species

Invasive species are non-native species that can cause harm to the environment, the economy or human health. Invasives come from all around the world. As international trade increases, so does the rate of invasive species introductions.

Learn About Native New York Species

Mammals

From the moose to the muskrat, check out the mammals of New York.

List of Species

Birds

Birding is a popular activity and here you can check out the different species you can find.

List of Species

Fish

With all the lakes, rivers, and coastlines, there's a number of different fish species to find and catch,

List of Species

Wildlife Health

It's important we do our part to keep the wildlife of New York safe and healthy. DEC has numerous programs and resources across the state designed to assist with these efforts. Visit our page on wildlife health to learn more and find out how you can do your part in maintaining the health of New York's wildlife.

Natural Features

Forests

New York state is 61% forested - forests cover 18.6 million acres of our 30.2 million total acres. Protecting and enhancing our forests benefits individuals, local communities and industries, and the state as a whole.

More Info

Waterbodies

Explore the countless waterbodies throughout New York State and learn about their importance, usage, and role in their ecosystems.

More Info

Open Space

Open space is simply land or water that is undeveloped (free from residential, commercial, industrial, or institutional use). These spaces can be as small as a vacant lot or as large as the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserve.

More Info