Southern Great Lakes forests

The Southern Great Lakes lowland forests is a temperate broadleaf and mixed forest ecoregion of North America, as defined by the World Wildlife Fund. It lies mostly in the central northeastern United States and extends into southeast central Canada. In modern times, little of it remains intact due to land use, including agriculture and urban uses.

Southern Great Lakes forests
South Chagrin.jpg
South Chagrin River near Cleveland, Ohio
Southern Great Lakes forests map.svg
BiomeTemperate broadleaf and mixed forests
Bird species220[1]
Mammal species56[1]
Area244,500 km2 (94,400 sq mi)
CountriesUnited States and Canada
States/ProvincesMichigan, New York, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania and Indiana
Habitat loss99%[1]


This area includes the southern half of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, and much of Indiana and Ohio.[2] It also extends through the southern half of Southwest Ontario from Windsor to Toronto and into Pennsylvania and New York on the southern rims of lakes Erie and Ontario.

This region is characterized by warm-to-hot summers and mild-to-cold, snowy winters.


This ecoregion is associated with the temperate deciduous forest to the south and thus contained a variety of habitats including freshwater marshes, dunes, bogs, fens, and hardwood and conifer swamps.


The Southern Great Lakes forests were very rich in wildlife. Birds include cardinals, downy woodpecker, wood duck and eastern screech owl. Large mammals including American black bear (Ursus americanus), moose (Alces alces), and gray wolf (Canis lupus) have been removed from this ecoregion and remaining mammals include white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), coyote (Canis latrans), snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus), eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus), American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) and eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis).

Threats and preservationEdit

Because of extensive urbanization and agricultural use very little of this habitat remains intact.

See alsoEdit

References and external linksEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Hoekstra, J. M.; Molnar, J. L.; Jennings, M.; Revenga, C.; Spalding, M. D.; Boucher, T. M.; Robertson, J. C.; Heibel, T. J.; Ellison, K. (2010). Molnar, J. L. (ed.). The Atlas of Global Conservation: Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities to Make a Difference. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-26256-0.
  2. ^ "Southern Great Lakes forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.