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About Rare Species Range Maps

Range Maps of Rare Natural Elements

These maps are generated using rare species occurrence and natural community data (aka element occurrences or EOs) exported from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, Nongame Conservation Section's NatureServe Biotics 5 database. Each map displays the polygon features of a given range map unit that intersect rare element locations in our database. For example, the county range maps show counties that intersect rare element locations.

The range maps are currently available from the following Georgia special concern species lists.

* For best results viewing these range maps please use a recent version of your browser.

Range Map Units

EPA = United States Environmental Protection Agency
USGS = United States Geological Survey
HUC = Hydrologic Unit Code

Purpose of the Range Maps

These maps illustrate the distribution or range of Georgia’s rare species and natural communities. They also categorize range map units based upon the most recent observation of the element. Thus, the maps can help identify areas where the element has been recently observed. In addition, range map units with old or imprecise records can be targeted for additional survey work or data acquisition. For example, a county that is light blue shows that the county contains an old or unclear location. This may spur focused field surveys for this species within the county. A blue feature may also help point out that data already collected needs to be entered or updated in our database.

Map Classification System

Legend For Range Maps

  • EOs belonging to classes toward the top of the legend take priority in defining age class and determine the color of a range map unit. For example, if there are two EOs within a county, the EO with the most recent observation date would take precedence over an EO with an older observation date; the county would be assigned the date range and color using the more recent EO observation.
  • For some EOs, the last observation date was never recorded or not recorded precisely (e.g., pre-2003). Range map units not containing EOs with precise observation dates are typically categorized as last observation date unknown. However, if the observation date makes it clear that the EO was observed 20 or more years ago (e.g., pre-1994), the range map unit is categorized as “Over 20 years”.  
  • An "unclear location" is a location for which there is limited and often unclear location information available for the EO. These locations are typically  mapped over a large area in an effort to include the location where the element may occur. An example of this might be an old collection location that gives only the county where it was observed.
  • An EO record is placed in the "Known or possibly extirpated" category if it has been determined that the element is "historic" or "extirpated" at this location or throughout Georgia.
  • If a rare element location is known to be an introduction out of its natural range, the EO is assigned to the "Known or possibly introduced" class. This category overrides the last observation date of the element.

 Printing the Maps

For best results when printing these maps use the print screen or screen capture facilities of your software or computer. Here is a YouTube video demonstrating one way to do this: How To Screen Capture Using PowerPoint 2010.


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