NORTHWOODS Wildlife Habitat Database
Mark D. Nelson, Janine M. Benyus, and Richard R. Buech


NORTHWOODS is a wildlife-habitat electronic database compiled through a joint effort of the USDA Forest Service's North Central Forest Experiment Station (NCFES) and seven national forests in the Upper Great Lakes Region: Chippewa, Superior, Chequamegon, Nicolet, Ottawa, Hiawatha, and Huron-Manistee. Each forest provided a wildlife-habitat database which the NCFES edited and revised to one common format. These seven databases were combined to form one new database (NORTHWOODS) representative of wildlife-habitat relationships throughout the region.

The NORTHWOODS database is a compilation of information about the habitat needs of 389 species of reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals in the Upper Great Lakes Region. It includes data such as common and scientific names of each wildlife species, occurrence of each species in 20 aquatic and terrestrial habitat types, species abundance and season of use in each of seven national forests, and Federal threatened or endangered status. A thorough description of this database and summaries of data queries are included in a 1992 Research Paper, "Wildlife of the Upper Great Lakes Region: A Community Profile," by Janine M. Benyus, Richard R. Buech, and Mark D. Nelson, North Central Forest Experiment Station (RP-NC-301).


The NORTHWOODS database can be used in the planning phase of wildlife habitat management. For example, NORTHWOODS users can identify the wildlife community that would be expected in any chosen habitat type, or they can look up the habitats used by a species, by all endangered species, etc. Generalizations concerning the wildlife community also can be examined through user-defined queries. For example, one can determine the proportion of species that use upland versus lowland forest sites, mature versus young forest age classes, deciduous versus coniferous forest types, etc. Users may add species records and data fields as needed.


Although the species-habitat data were derived from national forests across the Upper Great Lakes Region, the NORTHWOODS database does not include every species within the wildlife community of the region. Species not found within one of the seven national forests are not present in this database. In addition, a species is listed as using a habitat type only if it is present in that type in at least half of the forests in which it occurs. Common and scientific names were current when the database was created in 1989.


The NORTHWOODS database is available in a tab-delimited ASCII file format that can be imported into most spreadsheet, database, and word processing programs. Data fields and definitions were excerpted from the publication (RP-NC-301) referenced above and also are available in an ASCII file format. To save either of these files, select "Save As..." or "Save File As..." after clicking its link above.

For help with problems, contact:

Mark Nelson
USDA Forest Service
North Central Research Station
1992 Folwell Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
telephone: 651-649-5104

Richard Buech
Forestry Sciences Lab
1831 Highway 169E
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
telephone: 218-326-7105

Mark D. Nelson is a Wildlife Technician, Janine M. Benyus is a Writer, and Richard R. Buech is a Research Wildlife Biologist, North Central Research Station.


   USDA Forest Service at

USDA Forest Service, National Headquarters

North Central Research Station
1992 Folwell Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108
(651) 649-5000  fax: (651) 649-5285

All contents are in the public domain.

Please credit the North Central Research Station
if you copy or reproduce material from this page.

Last modified on Wednesday, February 18, 2004
by  Sharon Hobrla