New York Natural Heritage Program
Great Lakes Dunes
System: Terrestrial
SubSystem: Open Uplands

State Protection: Not Listed
Federal Protection: Not Listed

State Rarity Rank: S1S2
A State Rarity Rank of S1S2 means: Critically Imperiled or Imperiled in New York - Especially or very vulnerable to disappearing from New York due to rarity or other factors; typically 20 or fewer populations or locations in New York, very few individuals, very restricted range, few remaining acres (or miles of stream), and/or steep declines. More information is needed to assign a single conservation status.

Global Rarity Rank: G3G4
A Global Rarity Rank of G3G4 means: Vulnerable globally, or Apparently Secure -- At moderate risk of extinction, with relatively few populations or locations in the world, few individuals, and/or restricted range; or uncommon but not rare globally; may be rare in some parts of its range; possibly some cause for long-term concern due to declines or other factors. More information is needed to assign a single conservation status.


Did you know?
Most Great Lakes dunes were formed about 4000-6000 years ago, during very high water. They are found along all of the Great Lakes and are the largest freshwater dune ecosystem in the world. The dunes in New York are small examples of much larger ones found in Michigan on Lake Superior that can be seen from outer space. The plants that live on all Great Lakes dunes must be able to withstand large climate variations such as bitter cold winters, summers up to 180F (80C), and abrasive winds.

State Ranking Justification [-]
There are less than twenty occurrences statewide, and probably not many more historically given that its range is restricted to the eastern shore of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, and Lake Champlain. Although several documented occurrences have good viability, there are no high quality examples known in the state (i.e., no A- to AB-ranked occurrences). Several dunes are protected on public land or private conservation land. The current trend of this community is declining slightly as a result of shoreline development, invasive species, and recreational overuse.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]