Though typically thought of as a sandhill species, longleaf pine once covered about 2/3 of the Southeast. At a landscape level, longleaf pine forests cover a variety of different habitat types (mountains, rolling hills, sandhills and flatwoods). A longleaf pine stand maintained by fire is among the most biologically diverse habitats in North America.
Well-managed longleaf pine forests provide quality habitat for a variety of desirable plant and animal species. For example, bobwhite quail populations thrive in frequently burned longleaf pine stands, which typically support high legume populations. Fox squirrels, wild turkeys, whitetail deer, countless varieties of songbirds and many native butterflies flourish in longleaf pine forests as well. Reptiles and amphibians are frequent inhabitants of these forests, many found nowhere else.