Georgia Rare Species and Natural Community Data
Conservation Status Assessment Maps
Conservation Status Assessment Maps are a way to efficiently assess and compare the conservation status of large numbers of species. They were originally developed for rare aquatic species, but are useful for many kinds of organisms. We have used these maps to support the assessment of species for our State Wildlife Action Plan. We are also providing the maps to the US Fish and Wildlife Service to support the assessment of species that are candidates or are petitioned for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
These maps are suitable for a coarse-level assessment of species status. More detailed information (e.g., population or occupancy monitoring) is available for some species and should also be utilized for status assessments. However, a key advantage of our approach is that it provides a consistent framework for assessing conservation status using data that is available for the vast majority of species.
Conservation Status Assessment Maps are generated using species occurrence data. A simple GIS algorithm takes this basic data, scales it up to a management unit (e.g. a watershed), and categorizes the management unit based on the date of the most recent occurrence. The resulting map is useful for identifying range size, survey needs, and high priority areas for conservation. In addition, the number of management units historically and recently occupied provides an index of the species current status that can be compared across taxa. Finally, explicit definition of the management unit allows the use of supplemental data to support status assessments. For example, the number of surveys carried out within the management unit helps determine if older occurrences reflect sampling effort or true population declines.
We’ve made available a number of resources to support the production of maps identical to the one above. All necessary tools are provided below. No additional software is required! Simply download the zipfile and unpack into a folder. Then follow the How-to document included.
Note: All files must be kept in same folder for the procedure to work.
Download the Conservation Status Map package here: status_maps.zip
Resources Included in status_maps.zip:
* If you have any problems with the algorithm please contact Greg Krakow at greg (dot) krakow (at) dnr (dot) state (dot) ga (dot) us.
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