Featured Species and Wildlife Habitat Management

In 2009, the Department of Natural Resources began the process of identifying key wildlife, called featured species, that are highly valued, limited by habitat and have been selected for management.

DNR employee driving a tractorThis list of featured species - which currently includes 42 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects - places an emphasis on game animals and at-risk species. Featured species are a priority for the DNR, and resources will be directed towards management of their habitats. These are not the only species that the DNR values, but they are the ones that the available resources can address at this time. Other species, with vegetation cover requirements similar to the featured species, will also benefit from habitat management activities.

Wildlife habitat is the environment where an animal or a population of animals lives, the total conditions in an animal's surroundings that have a direct bearing on its growth, reproduction and survival. Although habitat is just one of a number of different factors that affect an animal's survival, the degradation or loss of habitat is the primary cause of wildlife declines worldwide.

DNR employees at a prescribed burn The intent of habitat management is to provide sufficient abundance of each featured species to meet specific population goals, such as providing hunting opportunities or meeting criteria for removing the species from the endangered species list. Because each species has its own unique habitat requirements, specific habitat management actions will not benefit all wildlife. It is important for wildlife managers to identify the key species that will be the focus of management efforts.

For more information about featured species, please contact Kerry Fitzpatrick at
517-373-9516 or FitzpatrickK@michigan.gov.

List of Featured Species for Habitat Management:

American bittern
American marten
American woodcock
black bear
blackburnian warbler
black-throated blue warbler
Canada goose
eastern bluebird
eastern cottontail
eastern fox snake
eastern meadowlark
golden-winged warbler
gray jay
Karner blue butterfly
Kirtland's Warbler
massasauga rattlesnake
Mitchell's satyr butterfly
northern goshawk
peregrine falcon
pileated woodpecker
piping plover
red crossbill
red-backed salamander
red-headed woodpecker
red-shouldered hawk
ring-necked pheasant
ruffed grouse
sharp-tailed grouse
snowshoe hare
spruce grouse
upland sandpiper
wild turkey
white-tailed deer
wood duck
wood thrush