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About the Data

NatureServe Explorer provides conservation status, taxonomy, distribution, and life history information for more than 70,000 plants, animals, and ecological communities and systems in the United States and Canada.

The data available through NatureServe Explorer represent a “snapshot” of the U.S. and Canadian data managed in the NatureServe Central Databases. These databases are dynamic, being continually enhanced and refined through the input of hundreds of natural heritage program scientists and other collaborators. NatureServe Explorer is periodically updated from these central databases to reflect information from new field surveys, the latest taxonomic treatments and other scientific publications, and new conservation status assessments.

In addition to the data available through NatureServe Explorer, a variety of other online data types and formats are available from NatureServe. NatureServe and its natural heritage member programs also maintain other data, including precise localities for rare and endangered species and sensitive ecological communities. For details about accessing other NatureServe data products, please see Custom Data Services; for information about the full range of information, technology, and conservation services from NatureServe, please visit our Products and Services page.

Data Coverage: Learn what plants, animals, and ecological communities and systems NatureServe Explorer includes, and what information is available about each.

Data Types & Uses: Learn how NatureServe assesses conservation status of species and ecological communities, and how these status ranks relate to legal designations. Learn about NatureServe protocols for assessing population viability and learn about what images are available on NatureServe Explorer.

Sources: Learn what taxonomic sources NatureServe Explorer relies on for species names, and what methods are used for ecological community and systems classification. Learn what sources NatureServe Explorer relies on for documenting the distribution of plants, animals, and ecological communities and systems.


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