For the purposes of Michigan's Wildlife Action Plan (WAP), 'wildlife' is defined as 'any species of wild, free-ranging animal, including, but not limited to, mussels, snails, crayfish, insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and
mammals.' Wildlife also includes animals in captive-breeding programs designed to reintroduce individuals of a depleted native species into a previously occupied range.
Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN)
These species were identified as part of development of the WAP and include wildlife species with small or declining populations or other characteristics that make them vulnerable. All species currently federally or State listed as threatened or endangered, and other species identified as special concern by Michigan Natural Features Inventory are included in the set of SGCN. Additional species identified through analysis of available data and recommendations from experts on particular taxa of Michigan are also included.
At this time, SGCN are exclusively animals, and do not include plants. However, aquatic and terrestrial, vertebrate and invertebrate, game and nongame wildlife species were considered and are included. The composition of this set of species will change over time as the status and conservation needs of species change within the State.
Landscape features are the primary organizational units for this action plan, and are broadly defined as 'components of the overall landscape used by wildlife, differentiated by vegetative, geologic, hydrologic, and structural elements, which may occur at various scales.'
Landscape features may be equivalent to ecosystems, they may incorporate multiple ecosystems, or they may be components of ecosystems, including isolated structures within a diverse matrix. Different landscape features are often divergent in scale and are not necessarily spatially exclusive; together they therefore provide the variety of characteristics, both structural and spatial, that are essential for wildlife.
They include broad ecosystems such as prairies and ponds, as well as small-scale structural characteristics that species
require, such as snags or gravel substrates. Where landscape features overlap, they act as multiple variables that together describe a place on the landscape.
These are all of the many entities working toward conservation of wildlife and wildlife habitats across Michigan, which includes State, Federal and tribal agencies, local governments, conservation organizations, academic institutions, private landowners, and other interested individuals.