Partners in Flight Bird Conservation Plan The Upper Great Lakes Plain (Physiographic Area 16)
The Upper Great Lakes Plain covers the southern half of Michigan, northwestern Ohio, northern Indiana, northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota, and northeastern Iowa. Glacial moraines and dissected plateaus are characteristic of the topography. A “driftless area” was not glaciated during the Pleistocene and emerged as a unique area of great biological diversity. Broadleaf forests, oak savannas, and a variety of prairie communities are the natural vegetation types. Today almost half of the area is covered by corn or soybean agriculture and more than a quarter of the area is devoted to pasture, hay, and mixed crops. More than 7% of the area is urbanized, with several large and growing urban areas, including Chicago, Illinois, and Detroit, Michigan.