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The wild plants and animals and the natural systems that support them in the Great Lakes region are valuable resources of considerable local, regional, and national interest. They are also, in part, transboundary resources that the U.S. shares with its Canadian neighbors to the north. The way these resources are changing over time is inadequately known and is a concern for resource users and for those charged with managing and protecting these unique and valuable resources. This chapter describes the wild plants and animals and the systems that support them in the Great Lakes region; addresses their condition; and points out the gaps in our knowledge about them that, if filled, would aid in their conservation and appropriate use.