Nevada Fish & Wildlife Office
Pacific Southwest Region

Nevada's Ecoregions

  Nevada is located between the Rocky Mountains & the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It has four major ecoregions they are: the Northern Basin and Range, Sierra Nevada, Mojave Basin and Range, Central Basin and Range.   
Major Ecoregions of Nevada
  Nothern Basin and Range
  The Northern Basin and Range ecoregion contains arid tablelands, intermontane basins, dissected lava plains, and scattered mountains. Non-mountain areas have sagebrush steppe vegetation; cool season grasses and Mollisols. Ranges are generally covered in mountain sagebrush, mountain brush, and Idaho fescue at lower and mid-elevations; Douglas-fir, and aspen are common at higher elevations. Overall, the ecoregion is drier and not suitable for agriculture however, rangeland is common and dryland and irrigated agriculture occur in eastern basins.
  Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada is a deeply dissected block fault that rises sharply from the arid basin and range ecoregions on the east and slopes gently toward the Central California Valley to the west. The eastern portion has been strongly glaciated. Much of the central and southern parts of the region are underlain by granite. The vegetation is mixed conifer and in Nevada are predominately white fir and lodgepole pine on the west side and Jeffery pine and lodgepolepine pine on the east side. Higher evlevations include red fir, mountain hemlock, and western white pine. There are many high mountain lakes, steams and meadow/raparian areas. Alpine conditions exist at the highest elevations.

  Mojave Basin and Range

The Mojave Basin and Range contains scattered mountains which are generally lower than those of the Central Basin and Range. Natural vegetation in this region is predominantly creosote bush. There is relatively little grazing due to the lack of water and forage for livestock.

  Central Basin and Range
  The Central Basin and Range ecoregion is internally drained and is characterized by a mosaic of xeric basins, scattered low and high mountains, and salt flats. It is a hot dry climate, has substantial shrubland,and mountain ranges. Basins are covered by Great Basin sagebrush or saltbush-greasewood vegetation that grow in Aridisols; cool season grasses are not common. The Central Basin and Range is not as hot as the Mojave and Sonoran Ranges and has a greater percent of land that is grazed.
  Please use this link to download the Environmental Protection Agency's Level III and IV Ecoregion PDF map. (1.2 MB PDF)
Last updated: April 16, 2014