Plants, animals, and other kinds of living creatures are adapted to living in particular conditions, or natural environments. Different kinds of natural environments are called habitats. There are many kinds of habitats in the world. For example, there are habitats that are found on land and others that are found in lakes, rivers, or oceans. Some habitats are very broad, and can include other kinds of habitats. For example, a habitat type can be "forest" - but there can also be different kinds of forests, such as rainforests, dry forests, temperate forests, and others.
The kind of habitat that is found in any particular place is usually a result of many factors, with the most important factors being climate, what has been happening in that area (forest cutting, fires, other changes), soils, and the animals that live there. The kinds of plants that grow in an area are often what determines the kind of habitat (grassland, forest, shrubland, etc.). This is because plants are "primary producers," they are the organisms that capture the energy of the sun and turn it into useful nutrients for animals. So the kinds of habitats an animal species is found in is usually determined by the kinds of plants that grow in that area and the ecological communities created by those plant habitats.
These habitat pages focus on the main habitat types found in Michigan and the Great Lakes region. You can take a "walk" through these pages to discover what kinds of animals you are likely to find in the habitats of the Great Lakes region.