Georgia Rare Species and Natural Community Data
Rare Species Locations
Disclaimer for Use of Rare Species Location Data
Please keep in mind the limitations of our database. The data collected by the Nongame Conservation Section comes from a variety of sources, including museum and herbarium records, literature, and reports from individuals and organizations, as well as field surveys by our staff biologists. In most cases the information is not the result of a recent on-site survey by our staff. Many areas of Georgia have never been surveyed thoroughly.
The Nongame Conservation Section can only occasionally provide definitive information on the presence or absence of rare species in a given area. Our files are updated constantly as new information is received. Thus, information provided by our program represents the existing data in our files on the date indicated on these pages and should not be considered a final statement on the species or area under consideration.
Known rare species and natural community EOs (element occurrences) generalized to the county, quarter quad, huc8 and huc10 level are provided here in several formats. These include clickable maps, kmz (compressed Google Earth files) and downloadable CSV spreadsheet/database tabular files. Also provided are the ESRI Shapefile GIS index files (overlay layers) used to generate the data. Please see the next section below for help with using these data sets.
(All files were update with data from our database on December 27, 2014)
Help With Using Data Above
The following tutorials use the csv file, qq_eos.csv, and the shapefile index, qq.shp, from the above available quarter quad data. Procedures using the county and watershed data should be very similar to the procedures using quarter quad data demonstrated here. The tutorials attempt to demonstrate the following three GIS procedures using different methods and software but acomplishing the same end results.
GIS Software Used for Tutorials
Fewer EOs for a Given Location Over Time
Several people have noticed that rare species that previously were reported for certain counties, quarter quads or HUC watersheds are no longer reported for these areas in our currently provided data. This is primarily because newly revised boundaries of EOs, using better data, are almost always smaller when they don't have as much uncertainty distance added in. These revised EO boundaries will then intersect fewer counties, quarter quads or HUC watersheds than they did previously. To a smaller degree, attrition is due to misidentified specimens and taxonomic changes.
Attribute Columns for Rare Element Datasets
Data was processed from original EO representations in Biotics Conservation Database using the Python API to the open source OGR Simple Features Library. Spatial fiilters were set on our EO Representation layer using polygon records from the overlay layers (County, Quarter Quad, HUC8 and HUC10). Selected records were added to a data table in Sqlite from which the web pages were generated. Provided shapefiles are projected to NAD83 UTM Zone 17N.
Detailed information about Natural Heritage data and methodology can be found on the NatureServe site at
Formal metadata for Natural Heritage Network (NatureServe) element occurrence data is located at:
Difference Between Known and Potential Element Ranges:
These lists are for rare species and natural communities that are KNOWN to occur within a given area and for which we have records of the locations in our databases. They should not be confused with lists of POTENTIAL elements for a given area. Potential lists are distributed by our office, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others. Potential elements lists include both those elements that are known to occur within a given area and those whose theoretical range intersects the area of interest and may show up within the region as more surveys are conducted.
Contact information for our staff can be found in the NatureServe Network Staff Directory.
Citation for Use of Georgia Rare Species and Natural Community Data
Georgia Department of Natural Resources. 2013. Nongame Conservation Section Biotics Database. Wildlife Resources Division, Social Circle.; Available at http://www.georgiawildlife.com (Accessed: <date>)
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