Kentucky's Natural Heritage: An Interactive Guide to Biodiversity

Expand/Collapse Kentucky's Natural Heritage: An Interactive Guide to Biodiversity


The diversity of life on our planet is astounding. From the lush rainforest of the Amazon to the seemingly barren arctic tundra, there is an abundance of life—and Kentucky is no exception. The state has a natural diversity of life so rich and complex that reality challenges the imagination. Fascinating and spectacular plants and animals such as the rainbow darter, golden mouse, cobra clubtail, three-birds orchid, and tiger salamander aren’t found in the Amazon; they live among us in the remarkably rich prairies, rivers, and forests of Kentucky, along with thousands of other species. -- from Kentucky's Natural Heritage: An Illustrated Guide to Biodiversity.

  • What is Biodiversity

    This excerpt from the KET Kentucky Life biodiversity series, offers a brief overview of what we mean when we refer to the biodiversity of a particular area or region.

    Grades: 4-10
  • Scientific Tools and Methods

    Adapted from the Kentucky Life biodiversity series, this KET interactive with embedded video introduces three different scenarios for applying the scientific method in the study of organisms and their environments.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Select Species Groups of Kentucky

    Adapted from original art from Kentucky's Natural Heritage, this interactive resource highlights the number of different species in Kentucky and offers additional information about the more common members of each group.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Caves Species and Karst Landscapes

    Caves are the home to some very interesting species. Some use the cave during colder seasons, while others live there year-round. Learn more about these obligates in this original interactive.

    Grades: 4-8
  • Follow Kentucky Through Geologic Time

    Adapted from original images in Kentucky's Natural Heritage, this interactive follows the movement of the area of land we now know as Kentucky through it's different geographical location since the Cambrian Period over 450 million years ago.

    Grades: 5-10
  • Lotic Communities

    Adapted from original art in Kentucky's Natural Heritage, this interactive offers information about the different types of lotic communities and the organisms that can be found in these waterways.

    Grades: 5-10
  • Lentic Communities

    Adapted from original art in Kentucky's Natural Heritage, this interactive offers information about the different types of lentic communities and the organisms that can be found in bodies of standing water such as ponds and lakes.

    Grades: 5-10
  • Migratory Songbirds

    Adapted from the Kentucky Life Biodiversity series, this interactive offers information about the types of migratory bird species that spend the summer months in Kentucky before heading south for the winter.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Biodiverse Regions: Black Mountain

    Black Mountain is the highest point in the state of Kentucky. Plants and animal species found here enjoy one of the most unique habitats in the world.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Biodiverse Regions: Blood River

    Adapted from the Kentucky Life biodiversity series, this KET video offers information about the biodiversity of the Blood River area in Kentucky.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Indicator Species: Hooded Warbler

    Adapted from the Kentucky Life biodiversity series, this video interactive offers information about the hooded warbler and its role as an indicator species in the Natural Bridge region of Kentucky.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Watersheds in Kentucky

    There are several regional and local watersheds in Kentucky. This interactive resource explains what a watershed is and where you can find them in Kentucky.

    Grades: 5-10
  • Select Natural Communities

    Adapted from original art in Kentucky's Natural Heritage, this interactive offers information on a cross-section of the major select natural communities: terrestrial, aquatic, wetland, and subterranean.

    Grades: 5-10
  • Three Levels of Biodiversity

    What's the difference between diversity in genees and species? Why are some species better than others at adapting to environmental changes? Learn more about specific levels of biodiversity, and see examples of plant and animal species and why they are important to each level.

    Grades: 5-10
  • Life in a Native Kentucky Village

    The scenes in this rollover interactive, depict typical village life of Native American Indians of the Mississippian culture. The village was occupied from 1100 AD until about 1350 AD.

    The images that were adapted from a mural at the Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site museum show the Mississippian people participating in the day-to-day activities of late summer/early fall: building houses, processing food, making stone tools, tanning animal hides, and weaving.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Natural Regions of Kentucky

    Natural regions are areas that share common geographical and topographical features. Adapted from original art from Kentucky's Natural Heritage, this interactive offers information about each of these regions in Kentucky.

    Grades: 5-10

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