Endangered Species
Midwest Region



Map of Region 3 Minnesota Wisconsin Michigan

Mitchell's Satyr Rangewide HCP

What is a fen?


Photo of a fen by Chris Hoving of the Michigan DNR.A fen is a grassy wetland with peat soils that have a basic pH (the opposite of acidic). Fens usually have tamarack trees, poison sumac, and a profusion of wildflowers. This diversity of wildflowers makes fens a magnet for many insects, including butterflies. Fens also provide valuable habitat for deer, turkey and other birds, as well as snakes, turtles and fish. The number of species of plants and animals in fens is higher than other wetlands and far higher than other ecosystems.


Fens are also considered globally rare. They occur only in the parts of the Midwest scoured by glaciers.


For more information on fens, visit the Michigan Natural Features Inventory "Prairie Fen" abstract (PDF).


Back to HCP page



Last updated: April 14, 2015