Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Archive for the tag “invasive species”

National Atlas Biology

UPDATE 10/5/2014 – The National Atlas ceased to be updated as of 9/30/2014. A copy from 9/24/2014 lives on in the Internet Archive.

National Atlas Biology – https://wayback.archive-it.org/4416/20140919123143/http://nationalatlas.gov/biology.html

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • Where are bats found in the United States?
  • Are there forests in Northern Alaska?


The Biology section of the National Atlas actually covers animals as well as plants. Like other sections of the National Atlas, it has overview articles and links to Map Maker samples. The overview articles include information about zebra mussels and africanized honey bees (aka killer bees.)

Clicking on one of the Map Maker samples, such as “Forest Cover Types”, allows you to access a number of other map layers including:

  • Amphibian Distributions (by type)
  • Bat Range (by type)
  • Breeding Bird Survey Routes
  • Butterfly Distributions (overall and by species)
  • Ecoregions
  • Forest Cover Types
  • Invasive species
  • Moth Distribution (overall and by species)
  • Wildland/Urban interface (under National Fire Plan)
  • Vegetation growth (average and peak)
  • Wildlife mortality

Invasive Species (plants)

Invasive Species (plants) – http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/plants/main.shtml 

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • Where is kudzu a problem?
  • What invasive species could I find in a national park like Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina?
  • What does a “tree of heaven” look like?


Invasive species are plants that are not native to a particular area but have out-competed the local animal and plant life. Think rabbits in Australia or Kudzu in the south. This federal site has images, profiles and control measures for a number of different invasive plants.

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