Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Site Section
By Sector

Ecosystems

Drought can alter the ecological balance of natural systems and harm fish, wildlife, and plant species, as well as the services that these ecosystems provide to human communities.

Ecological Regions in Drought

Ecological regions (ecoregions) are areas of general similarity in ecosystems and in environmental resources. They serve as a spatial framework for the research, assessment, management, and monitoring of ecosystems and ecosystem components.

This map shows forest ecoregions from EPA's Level 1 Ecoregions of North America, alongside weekly drought conditions from the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM).

This map shows prairie ecoregions from EPA's Level 1 Ecoregions of North America, alongside weekly drought conditions from the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM).

This map shows desert ecoregions from EPA's Level 1 Ecoregions of North America, alongside weekly drought conditions from the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM).

This map shows Mediterranean ecoregions from EPA's Level 1 Ecoregions of North America, alongside weekly drought conditions from the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM).

U.S. Forests in Drought

The color with the hex code #006600 identifies:
Forests

U.S. Prairies in Drought

The color with the hex code #663399 identifies:
Prairies

U.S. Deserts in Drought

The color with the hex code #663333 identifies:
Deserts

U.S. Mediterranean Regions in Drought

The color with the hex code #339999 identifies:
Mediterranean

U.S. Drought Monitor Categories

The color with the hex code #ffff00 identifies:
D0
The color with the hex code #ffcc99 identifies:
D1
The color with the hex code #ff6600 identifies:
D2
The color with the hex code #ff0000 identifies:
D3
The color with the hex code #660000 identifies:
D4
60,064
acres burned in 2020
5,110
flood events since January 1, 2020
81.4 Million
acres of forest in Severe Drought (D2 - D4)
160.5 Million
acres of prairies in Severe Drought (D2 - D4)
Key Issues

Ecological Drought

Drought can impact natural ecosystems and the services they provide to human communities.

Integrated Planning

Natural ecosystems and their benefits should be incorporated into future planning for drought impacts.

Related Content

Data & Maps | Vegetation

Drought can result in reduced growth rates, leaf loss, and increased stress on vegetation. Visit this page to view data, maps, and tools that monitor and forecast drought's effects on vegetation.

Research & Learn | Ecological Drought

Healthy ecological systems support every form of life, and drought can alter or degrade critical ecosystem functions and services. Learn more about ecological drought here.

Research & Learn | Flash Drought

Flash drought can quickly deplete soil moisture and dramatically increase evaporative stress on the environment. Learn more about flash drought here.