Data Types

Data Types & Uses

NatureServe Explorer provides an array of information about the conservation status, taxonomy, distribution, life history, and habitat requirements of the species and ecological communities it covers. This information has been developed over the past thirty five years by NatureServe, its natural heritage member programs, and a large number of collaborators in government agencies, universities, natural history museums and botanical gardens, and other conservation organizations. The goal of this data compilation is to help guide conservation efforts and to inform environmental planning and management.

NatureServe and its natural heritage program members have developed standardized methods for gathering, managing, and analyzing biological and ecological data, referred collectively as NatureServe Core Methodology. These methods focus on documenting location and condition of species and ecosystems, with particular focus on those that are of greatest conservation concern, and are described in general terms in the Data Development Overview section, below.

Several information types offered on NatureServe Explorer deserve particular discussion, including protocols for assessing conservation status and procedures for assessing population viability.

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