New York Natural Heritage Program
Hempstead Plains Grassland
Stephen M. Young
System: Terrestrial
SubSystem: Open Uplands

State Protection: Not Listed
Federal Protection: Not Listed

State Rarity Rank: S1
A State Rarity Rank of S1 means: Typically 5 or fewer occurrences, very few remaining individuals, acres, or miles of stream, or some factor of its biology makes it especially vulnerable in New York State.

Global Rarity Rank: G1Q
A Global Rarity Rank of G1Q means: Critically Imperiled globally - At very high risk of extinction due to extreme rarity or other factors; typically 5 or fewer populations or locations in the world, very few individuals, very restricted range, very few remaining acres (or miles of stream), and/or very steep declines. The Q indicates this speciesí status as a distinctive full species is uncertain.


Did you know?
For over fifty years, the once expansive Hempstead Plains (named after the Village of Hempstead, which was founded in 1644) served as a Cradle of Aviation in Nassau County. By 1910, The Plains, which covered over 50 square miles, were home to three airfields and a few flying schools. One of these airfields, Roosevelt Field (previously known as the Hempstead Plains Aerodrome), was the departure point for Charles Lindbergh's historic 1927 transatlantic flight to Paris.

State Ranking Justification [-]
While once a part of an extensive grassland system, Hempstead Plains grassland is now restricted to one site on the coastal lowlands in Nassau County in western Long Island. This one documented occurrence represents the only known location for this globally rare community; no additional sites are expected to be discovered. The remnant occurrence has fair to poor viability and is protected on public or private land. It is vulnerable to development, which is the most crucial impending threat to the community. The community's trend, overall, is declining due to invasive species encroachment, woody species invasion, and trash dumping.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]