The Oklahoma Natural Heritage Inventory (ONHI) is the state's central repository for information on Oklahoma's natural heritage. Established in 1977, ONHI was among among the first natural heritage programs in the U.S. and was integrated into the Oklahoma Biological Survey at the University of Oklahoma in 1987.
ONHI is charged with maintaining dynamic, georeferenced information on the state's biological diversity, including rare and endangered species, species of special concern, and significant ecological communities. ONHI also provides information resulting from surveys, studies, and other sources to the people of the state for resource management, research, and education.
ONHI biologists conduct field inventories to find and evaluate occurrences of rare species and communities throughout the state. Biologists record map coordinates, habitat information, and population data at each occurrence of an element. These data are entered into a database consisting of element, site, and occurrence tables for easy storage and retrieval.
Information about rare species and communities from other sources, including natural resource agencies, conservation groups, published literature, and private individuals is also sought by ONHI biologists.
Interpretating the meaning and the significance of element occurrence data is rarely straightforward and can be difficult. ONHI biologists and data management staff are available to answer questions about the data and its interpretation for any application. ONHI also provides, through this web site and other means, additional information that may help make these data easier to understand and use.