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Conservation Tools for the Chicago Region

Vplants is a virtual herbarium for the Chicago Region. This resource contains data for 80,000 plant and fungi specimens from three institutions with rich Chicago Region collections: The Field Museum, the Morton Arboretum, and the Chicago Botanic Garden.

The Keys to Nature Project provides a forum and toolset for scientists, partners, and volunteers to develop and share on-line, photo-based keys to any group of plants, animals, or fungi in the Chicago Region. Fourteen keys are now available for regional milkweeds, shrubs, mussels, salamanders and newts, turtles, frogs and toads, and more. New keys—to regional orchids, goldenrods, and damselflies—are in development.

Rapid Color Guides are free, photo-based, educational guides designed to help individuals quickly and accurately identify species in the natural world.  Rapid Color Guides are designed to fill gaps in published materials and often focus on specific geographic area, such as the Chicago Region.  They can be downloaded and laminated to create quick reference guides for the field.