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Searching for plants and animals

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Search for a single plant or animal by Name, Location, Status only, or a combination of these three.

Beginning a plant or animal search

  1. From the NatureServe Explorer home page, click Search for Plants and Animals.
  2. From here, click Name, Location, or Status. (You can search by one or any combination of these in any order.)

Searching by name

  1. In the Plants/Animals tab, click Name.
  2. Type the scientific or common name of a plant or animal under Search by Name.
  3. Click
    • Scientific for only scientific names
    • Common for only common names
    • Either for either scientific OR common name.
  4. Or, you can search by uploading a Comma-Separated (.csv) file.
  5. Or, you can search by group.
  6. Click Search Now to retrieve all the elements that match the criteria.
  7. View the results.

Tips for name searches:


Searching by location

In the Plants/Animals tab, click Location

  1. Click on the type of Location Search you want.
    • U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
    • U.S. Counties
    • U.S. Watershed

Note: You can only choose one type of Location Search in each search.

Searching by U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Click all the states and provinces where you want to find plants and animals

  1. Click Search Now to retrieve all the elements that match the criteria.
  2. View the results.

Note: If you choose more than one State/Province, you will need to choose AND/OR.

Searching by U.S. Counties

Select U.S. Counties using the dropdown menu

  1. Select a state from the dropdown menu.
    • Now the county dropdown will be populated with counties in the selected state.
  2. Select a county from the dropdown menu.
  3. Click Search Now to retrieve all the elements that match the criteria.
  4. View the results.

Select U.S. Counties using the map

  1. On the U.S. Counties search page, click the map you want to use to select a county
    • U.S. Lower 48 states
    • Hawaii
    • Alaska
  2. From the selected sub-area on the map, click on the county you want to add to your search criteria. You may need to navigate the map to find the county you want.
    • You will be returned to the U.S. Counties search page, and the dropdowns will be populated with the county you chose.
  3. Click Search Now to retrieve all the elements that match the criteria.
  4. View the results.

Note: You can only search by one county at a time.

Searching by U.S. Watersheds

Select U.S. Watersheds using the dropdown menu
  1. Select a state from the dropdown menu.
    • Now the watershed dropdown will be populated with watersheds in the selected state.
  2. Select a watershed from the dropdown menu.
  3. Click Search Now to retrieve all the elements that match the criteria.
  4. View the results.

Select U.S. Watersheds using the map

  1. On the U.S. Watersheds search page, click the map you want to use to select a watershed
    • U.S. Lower 48 states
    • Hawaii
    • Alaska
  2. From the selected sub-area on the map, click on the watershed you want to add to your search criteria. You may need to navigate the map to find the watershed you want.
    • You will be returned to the U.S. Watersheds search page, and the dropdowns will be populated with the watershed you chose.
  3. Click Search Now to retrieve all the elements that match the criteria.
  4. View the results.

Note: You can only search by one watershed at a time.

Tips for Navigating the County & Watershed Search Maps

  • Detail and overview map
    Detail map: displays all U.S. counties or U.S. watersheds in the chosen area. Only displays part of the whole area.
    Overview map: displays the overview themes. Displays the whole area. A red rectangle shows where the area displayed in the detail map is located.
  • Navigate using overview map Navigate to a certain area in the detail map by clicking in the overview map.
  • Zoom in, zoom out and pan
    You can zoom in, zoom out and pan in the detail map.
  • Hotlink
    Choose Counties or Watersheds.
 

Searching by status

  1. In the Plants/Animals tab, click Status.
  2. Click all statuses that you want for plants and animals.
  3. Click Search Now to retrieve all the elements that match the criteria.
  4. View the results.

Note: You can only choose one status in each ranking category (global, state, USESA or COSEWIC), but if you use more than one, you will need to choose AND/OR.

Correct : Incorrect:
  • G1 AND S1 OR S2
  • G1 OR S1 OR S2
  • G1 OR S1 AND S2
  • S1 AND S2

Searching by Global Status Change Date

  1. In the Plants/Animals tab, click Status.
  2. At the bottom of the Global Conservation Status criteria section, enter the Global Status change date (in YYYY-MM-DD format) for which you want to know a species was ranked on or after.
  3. Click Search Now to retrieve all the species that match the criteria.
  4. View the results.

Tips for Global Status Change Date searches:

  • Dates must be entered in the complete YYYY-MM-DD format in the right order. For example, entering a date of “1994” or “10-15-1994” will generate an error.
  • Wildcards ( * ) cannot be used with date searches.
  • It is not possible to search on a Global Rank Date that is more recent than the date of the last data refresh of the website, which can be found at the bottom of each page. For example, if the website was last updated in October 2004, then searching on a Global Rank Date of 2004-11-01 will generate an error.

Searching by U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
(For plants exotic in the United States)

A NatureServe Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) is a categorical assessment of a non-native plant taxon's negative impact on natural biodiversity within a specified region (here, the area of the United States to which it is not native). For more information about I-Ranks, click here.

NatureServe is currently in the process of assigning I-Ranks to all non-native vascular plant species that have established outside of cultivation in the United States. At present, a subset of these assessments has been completed and is available for viewing. However, please note that this subset does not represent a random sample of non-native species in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

To search the available assessments:
  1. In the Plants/Animals tab, click Status
  2. Click all statuses (I-Rank values) that you want. To see all available assessments, click the Select All button.
  3. Click Search Now to retrieve all species that match the criteria.
  4. View the results.
Additional points to note:
  1. If available information did not allow the I-Rank to be narrowed to one of the four categories (High, Medium, Low, or Insignificant), a "range" I-Rank was recorded (e.g. High/Medium, meaning that the I-Rank could be either High or Medium). For searching purposes, range I-Ranks that spanned two categories were rounded to the higher impact, and range I-Ranks that spanned three categories were rounded to Unknown. Therefore, a search for High I-Ranks will return High and High/Medium assessments but not High/Low assessments, and a search for Unknown I-Ranks will return Unknown, High/Low, and Medium/Insignificant assessments.

  2. The performance of I-Rank assessments relies on Native/Exotic status assigned at the U.S. national level, with assessments performed for species that are entirely Exotic in the U.S. as well as for species that are both Native and Exotic in the U.S. When combining I-Rank and Location searches, it is therefore important to read the I-Rank Reasons Summary and Native Range comments carefully to be sure that each of the returned assessments is applicable to the Location of interest. For example, a search of all assessments available for Iowa will return Bidens aristosa among the results. This species is native to the midwestern U.S. but non-native in the eastern U.S., and the I-Rank assessment applies only to the eastern U.S.

  3. The I-Rank search uses the overall I-Rank value to return results. This overall I-Rank is a composite of four subranks which more precisely describe different dimensions of a species' impact on natural biodiversity: Ecological Impact, Current Distribution/Abundance, Trend in Distribution/Abundance, and Management Difficulty. More information on the relationship between the overall I-Rank and the subranks can be found in the assessment protocol. If you wish to search the available assessment data by one or more subrank values (e.g. species with High or Medium Ecological Impact, or species with High Ecological Impact, Low or Insignificant Current Distribution/Abundance, and High Trend in Distribution/Abundance), please submit a custom data request.

See also:

Setting user preferences
Understanding the results
Viewing and changing search criteria
Searching for plants and animals by group
Examples of plant and animal searches
Combining species and ecological searches
Using NatureServe Explorer

 

 

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