Balaenoptera musculus - (Linnaeus, 1758)
Blue Whale
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Balaenoptera musculus (Linnaeus, 1758) (TSN 180528)
French Common Names: rorqual bleu
Spanish Common Names: Ballena Azul
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101880
Element Code: AMAGH01040
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Mammals - Whales and Dolphins
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Mammalia Cetacea Balaenopteridae Balaenoptera
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
Check this box to expand all report sections:
Concept Reference
Help
Concept Reference: Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp. Available online at: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/msw/.
Concept Reference Code: B93WIL01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Balaenoptera musculus
Taxonomic Comments: A proposal to place the blue whale in the monotypic genus Sibbaldius (Barnes and McLeod 1984) has not been accepted by subsequent authors (e.g., Jones et al. 1986, 1992; Mead and Brownell, in Wilson and Reeder 1993, 2005). Includes brevicauda (pygmy blue whale) as a subspecies (Mead and Brownell). Sometimes the Northern and Southern hemisphere stocks are regarded as separate subspecies (musculus and intermedia, respectively). The Indian Ocean population represents the nominal subspecies indica.
Conservation Status
Help

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 04Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 01Dec1999
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Large range in the Pacific, Atlantic, and southern oceans; low population numbers, far below historical levels, due to whaling; current population more than 10,000, with some populations increasing.
Nation: United States
National Status: N1 (19Feb1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N1N,N1M (25Aug2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alaska (S2), California (SNR), Florida (SNR), Hawaii (SNR), Maine (SNR), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (S1), New York (SNA), Oregon (SNA), Rhode Island (SNRN), South Carolina (SNR), Texas (SH), Washington (SNA)
Canada British Columbia (S1N), Nova Scotia (SNRN), Nunavut (SNR), Prince Edward Island (SNR), Quebec (S3)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LE: Listed endangered (02Jun1970)
Implied Status under the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC):E
Comments on COSEWIC: The species was considered a single unit and designated Special Concern in April 1983. In May 2002, the species was split into two populations: Blue Whale (Atlantic population - pop 1) and Blue Whale (Pacific population - pop 2). The Atlantic population and the Pacific populations were both designated Endangered in May 2002 and status re-examined and confirmed in May 2012.
IUCN Red List Category: EN - Endangered
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Protection Status (CITES): Appendix I

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Occurs throughout the world's oceans. Three major breeding groups: North Pacific, North Atlantic, and Antarctic; perhaps a separate breeding population in the Indian Ocean. Seen with some regularity in deep coastal canyons off central and southern California, far inside the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and in the Denmark Strait. See IUCN (1991) for further details. For all practical purposes the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere stocks do not mix (IUCN 1991). Subspecies BREVICAUDA (pygmy blue whale) is known mainly from subantarctic waters of the Indian Ocean and southeast Atlantic; reported also from other areas such as the northern Indian Ocean and off western South America.

Number of Occurrences: Unknown
Number of Occurrences Comments: Unknown; difficult to define element occurrences.

Population Size: 10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Rough estimate of the world-wide population is 15,000 individuals (10,000 in the southern hemisphere, including 5,000 pygmy blue whales; 3,500 in the North Pacific; and 800-1,400 in the North Atlantic (see Mate et al. 1999).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Historically over-harvested. Today the species may be negatively affected by food-chain alterations resulting from commercial fishing/whaling (J. Barlow, pers. comm., 1995). There is concern among some biologists that underwater sound waves, such as those to be transmitted as part of the Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate project (see Schmidt, 1994, Science 264:339-340), may detrimentally impact marine mammals; all agree that more information is needed on the impact of noise on marine mammals.

Short-term Trend Comments: Severely depleted throughout the range by commercial whaling (IUCN 1991), but some populations are increasing (J. Barlow, pers. comm., 1995).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Locate high use areas.

Protection Needs: Enforce international and national protection regulations. Establish marine sanctuaries in high use areas.

Distribution
Help
Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Occurs throughout the world's oceans. Three major breeding groups: North Pacific, North Atlantic, and Antarctic; perhaps a separate breeding population in the Indian Ocean. Seen with some regularity in deep coastal canyons off central and southern California, far inside the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and in the Denmark Strait. See IUCN (1991) for further details. For all practical purposes the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere stocks do not mix (IUCN 1991). Subspecies BREVICAUDA (pygmy blue whale) is known mainly from subantarctic waters of the Indian Ocean and southeast Atlantic; reported also from other areas such as the northern Indian Ocean and off western South America.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, CA, FL, HI, MA, MD, ME, NY, OR, RI, SC, TX, WA
Canada BC, NS, NU, PE, QC

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History
Help
Basic Description: A baleen whale (the largest living animal).
General Description: A very large (the largest living animal) baleen whale; body is mottled bluish gray; head is flat in front of the paired nostrils, broad and nearly U-shaped in dorsal view, with a single median ridge that extends forward from the raised area in front of the nostrils (ridge does not quite reach tip of snout); dorsal fin, located in the last quarter of the back, is very small; throat has 55-68 longitudinal grooves; belly may appear yellowish due to diatom accumulations; flipper are long and slim; baleen is black; potential maximum length is over 30 m, with the largest females averaging slightly longer than the largest males (Leatherwood and Reeves 1983).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Differs from the fin whale in the mottled blue-gray body coloration, symmetrical lower lip coloration, broader U-shaped rather than V-shaped snout, baleen that is black rather than gray to white, and the smaller dorsal fin that is located farther toward the posterior. Differs from the sei whale in the much shorter dorsal fin that is located much farther toward the posterior (Leatherwood and Reeves 1983).
Reproduction Comments: Mates May-September in the Northern Hemisphere. Gestation is reported as 11 or 12 months. Adult females bear one calf every 2-3 years. Young are weaned in about 8 months. Females reach sexual maturity in about 10 years. Maximum lifespan is uncertain; reportedly only about 20 years or up to 80-90 years.
Ecology Comments: Usually solitary or in pairs or threes; may congregate in good feeding areas.
Habitat Type: Marine
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Most migrate to high latitude feeding areas for summer, return to lower latitude breeding areas for winter. For example, those that summer off Alaska winter off southern California and Baja California (IUCN 1991). There may be a basically resident or short distance migratory population off California and Baja California. Of individuals tagged off southern California, where apparently they were feeding or foraging, one moved to waters off northern California and four moved southward to Baja California, two passing Cabo San Lucas and one of these moving an additional 3000 km to near the Costa Rican Dome (an upwelling feature), which may be a calving/breeding area (Mate et al. 1999). Data on vocalizations support the idea that blue whales off North America and in the eastern tropical Pacific represent a single stock (Stafford et al. 1999). Hydrophone recordings suggest possible winter and late summer migrations off Oahu (Hawaii) (Thompson and Friedl 1982).
Marine Habitat(s): Pelagic
Habitat Comments: Mainly pelagic; generally prefers cold waters and open seas, but young are born in warmer waters of lower latitudes.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats primarily krill. Feeding occurs primarily in high latitude waters.
Adult Phenology: Circadian
Immature Phenology: Circadian
Phenology Comments: Active day and night
Length: 3050 centimeters
Weight: 136000000 grams
Economic Attributes
Help
Economic Comments: Hunted initially for oil; meat for human consumption and other by-products also were obtained. The largest harvests (nearly 30,000/year) occurred in the 1930s after factory ships began whaling in the southern ocean. Probably about 280,000 were harvested between the mid-1920s and early 1970s. Harvest dropped to essentially zero by the early 1970s. See IUCN (1991).
Management Summary
Help
Management Requirements: Final recovery plans for the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific stocks became available in 1998 (www.nmfs.gov/prot_res/cetacean/blue.html).
Biological Research Needs: Determine health, abundance, and distribution of food resource.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Help
Group Name: Rorquals

Use Class: Not applicable
Subtype(s): Foraging Concentration Area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: An area that is, or was, occupied by a recurring concentration of foraging whales. Minimally, at least two and preferably several years of observation should be used to reliably identify significant concentrations (i.e., those occupied by feeding whales more than 10 days per year). In most cases, occurrences should not be extensive areas, but rather portions of such areas that stand out as strongly meeting the occurrence criteria. Year-to-year changes in prey distribution may mean that some key sites are not occupied every year; however, occurrences should still be delineated where data indicate that the sites are important over the longer term.
Mapping Guidance: All known sightings over a period of time in an area should be collectively mapped as a single polygon feature, or multiple polygons if there are individual areas separated by more than 5 km. Individual sightings could also be mapped as source feature points within this principal EO, although this may be impractical over time. If useful, year-to-year variation in areas could be mapped as separate source feature polygons within a larger multi-year principal EO.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 30 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 30 km
Separation Justification: Whales can travel significant distances daily. However, occurrences are defined primarily on the basis of areas predictably supporting concentrations of prey (e.g., small fish or krill) and feeding whales, rather than on the basis of distinct whale populations or specific feeding groups. Separation distance similarly refers to areas of concentrated foraging; arbitrarily set such that occurrences are manageable for conservation of prey resource.
Date: 07Feb2002
Author: Cannings, S.
Notes: Contains all members of Balenopteridae, with the exception of MEGAPTERA NOVAEANGLIAE.
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 06Apr2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G., T. French, and K. Willson
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 21Nov1995
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Allen, C. R., S. Demarais, and R. S. Lutz. 1994. Red imported fire ant impact on wildlife: an overview. The Texas Journal of Science 46(1):51-59.

  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1983. Check-list of North American Birds, 6th edition. Allen Press, Inc., Lawrence, KS. 877pp.

  • Aquin, P. 1999. Évaluation de la situation des groupes taxonomiques des mammifères du Québec. Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Faune. 5 pages.

  • B.C. Ministry of Environment. Recovery Planning in BC. B.C. Minist. Environ. Victoria, BC.

  • Banfield, A. W. F. 1974. The mammals of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Canada. 438 pp.

  • Banfield, A. W. F. 1977. Les Mammifères du Canada. Publié pour le Musée national des sciences naturelles, Musées nationaux du Canada, par les Presses de l'Université Laval. 406 p.

  • Barnes, L. G., and S. A. McLeod. 1984. The fossil record and phyletic relationships of gray whales. Pages 3-32 in Jones, M. L., et al., eds. The gray whale. Academic Press,Orlando, Florida.

  • Baskin, Y. 1993. Blue whale population may be increasing off California. Science 260:287.

  • Bradley, R.D., L.K. Ammerman, R.J. Baker, L.C. Bradley, J.A. Cook. R.C. Dowler, C. Jones, D.J. Schmidly, F.B. Stangl Jr., R.A. Van den Bussche and B. Würsig. 2014. Revised checklist of North American mammals north of Mexico, 2014. Museum of Texas Tech University Occasional Papers 327:1-28. Available at: http://www.nsrl.ttu.edu/publications/opapers/ops/OP327.pdf

  • COSEWIC. 2002. Canadian Species at Risk, May 2002. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. 34 pp. Available online: http://www.cosewic.gc.ca/

  • COSEWIC. 2002o. COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the Blue Whale Balaenoptera musculus in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. vi + 32 pp.

  • Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). 1999. Canadian Species at Risk: April 1999. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. 17 pp.

  • Connor, P.F. 1971. The mammals of Long Island, New York. NYS Museum and Science Service Bull. 416. 78 pp.

  • Falklands Conservation. 2000. Falkland Islands wildlife. Falklands Conservation. http://www.falklands-nature.demon.co.uk/wildlife/chklst.html

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada. 2017. Action Plan for Blue, Fin, Sei and North Pacific Right Whales (Balaenoptera musculus, B. physalus, B. borealis, and Eubalaena japonica) in Canadian Pacific Waters. Species at Risk Act Action Plan Series. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa. iv + 28 pp.

  • Folkens, P. 1984. The whale watcher's handbook. Doubleday Co., Inc., Garden City, NY 208 pp.

  • Godin, A. J. 1977. Wild mammals of New England. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 304 pp.

  • Gregr, E.J., J. Calambokidis, L. Convey, J.K.B. Ford, R.I. Perry, L. Spaven, M. Zacharias. 2006. Recovery Strategy for Blue, Fin, and Sei Whales (Balaenoptera musculus, B. physalus, and B. borealis) in Pacific Canadian Waters. In Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Vancouver: Fisheries and Oceans Canada. vii + 53 pp.

  • Hall, E. R. 1981a. The Mammals of North America, second edition. Vols. I & II. John Wiley & Sons, New York, New York. 1181 pp.

  • Hebda, A.J. 2011. List of mammals of Nova Scotia (including synonyms used in the literature relating to Nova Scotia) (revision 2) 24 July 2011. Nova Scotia Museum Collections Unit, Halifax, Nova Scotia. 24 pp. Online. Available: https://naturalhistory.novascotia.ca/sites/default/files/inline/images/names_and_synonyms_ver3.pdf

  • IUCN (World Conservation Union). 1991. Dolphins, Porpoises and Whales of the World: the IUCN Red Data Book. M. Klinowska (compiler). IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, and Cambridge, United Kingdom. viii + 429 pp.

  • Jones, J. K., Jr., D. C. Carter, H. H. Genoways, R. S. Hoffman, D. W. Rice, and C. Jones. 1986. Revised checklistof North American mammals north of Mexico, 1986. Occas. Papers Mus., Texas Tech Univ., 107:1-22.

  • Jones, J. K., Jr., R. S. Hoffman, D. W. Rice, C. Jones, R. J. Baker, and M. D. Engstrom. 1992a. Revised checklist of North American mammals north of Mexico, 1991. Occasional Papers, The Museum, Texas Tech University, 146:1-23.

  • Jones, J. K., S. Demarais, and C. T. McAllister. 1995. Contribution to a bibliography of recent Texas mammals 1981-1990. Special Publications, The Museum Texas Tech University 38:1-64.

  • Katona, S. K., V. Rough, and D. T. Richardson. 1983. A Field guide to the whales, porpoises, and seals of the gulf of Maine and eastern Canada. Cape Cod to Newfoundland. Charles Scribner's Sons, N.Y. 255 pp.

  • Leatherwood, S., and R. R. Reeves. 1983. The Sierra Club handbook of whales and dolphins. Sierra Club Books, San Francisco. 302 pp.

  • Mansfield, A.W. 1983. Status report on the Blue Whale BALAENOPTERA MUSCULUS in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). 18 pp.

  • Mansfield, A.W. 1983. Status report on the Blue Whale. Rapport CSEMDC.

  • Mate, B. R., B. A. Lagerquist, and J. Calambokidis. 1999. Movements of North Pacific blue whales during the feeding season off southern California and their southern fall migration. Marine Mammal Science 15:1246-1257.

  • Matthews, J.R. and C.J. Moseley (eds.). 1990. The Official World Wildlife Fund Guide to Endangered Species of North America. Volume 1. Plants, Mammals. xxiii + pp 1-560 + 33 pp. appendix + 6 pp. glossary + 16 pp. index. Volume 2. Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fishes, Mussels, Crustaceans, Snails, Insects, and Arachnids. xiii + pp. 561-1180. Beacham Publications, Inc., Washington, D.C.

  • National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). 1985. Annual Report 1984/1985, Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.

  • National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). 1987. Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Annual Report 1986/87.

  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Checklist of the amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals of New York State, including their protective status. Nongame Unit, Wildlife Resources Center, Delmar, NY.

  • Nowak, R. M. 1991. Walker's mammals of the world. Fifth edition. Vols. I and II. Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, Baltimore. 1629 pp.

  • OWEN, JAMES G. 1990. AN ANALYSIS OF THE SPATIAL STRUCTURE OF MAMMALIAN DISTRIBUTION PATTERNS IN TEXAS. ECOLOGY 71(5):1823-1832.

  • OWEN, JAMES G. 1990. PATTERNS OF MAMMALIAN SPECIES RICHNESS IN RELATION TO TEMPERATURE, PRODUCTIVITY, AND VARIANCE IN ELEVATION. J. MAMM. 71(1):1-13.

  • Pacheco, V., H. de Macedo, E. Vivar, C. Ascorra, R. Arana-Cardó, and S. Solari. 1995. Lista anotada de los mamíferos peruanos. Conservation International, Washington, DC.

  • Rice, D. W. 1998. Marine mammals of the world: systematics and distribution. Society for Marine Mammalogy, Special Publication Number 4. ix + 231 pp.

  • Ridgway, S. H., and R. J. Harrison. 1985. Handbook of marine mammals. Vol. 3. The sirenians and baleen whales. Academic Press, New York. 362 pp.

  • Sears, R et J. Calambokidis. 2002. COSEWIC Status Report on the Blue Whale from Atlantic and Pacific waters (Balaenoptera musculus). Report submitted to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. 42 p.

  • Small, G.L. 1971. The blue whale. Columbia University Press. 248 pp.

  • Société de la faune et des parcs du Québec. 2003. Les espèces menacées [en ligne]. Disponible sur le site Internet. - Accès :«http://www.fapaq.gouv.qc.ca/fr/etu_rec/esp_mena_vuln/index.htm». La société, 2003 [Réf. 3 novembre 2003] .

  • Stafford, K. M., S. L. Nieukirk, and C. G. Fox. 1999. An acoustic link between blue whales in the eastern tropical Pacific and the northeast Pacific. Marine Mammal Science 15:1258-1268.

  • Thompson, P.O. and W.A. Friedl. 1982. A long term studyof low frequency sounds from several species of whales off Oahu, Hawaii. Cetology 45:1-19.

  • Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp. Available online at: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/msw/.

  • Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 2005. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Third edition. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. Two volumes. 2,142 pp. Available online at: https://www.departments.bucknell.edu/biology/resources/msw3/

  • Wilson, D. E., and S. Ruff. 1999. The Smithsonian book of North American mammals. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 750 pp.

  • World Wildlife Fund. 1990. The official World Wildlife Fund guide to endangered species of North America. D. W. Lowe, J. R. Matthews, and C. J. Moseley (eds.). Beacham Publishing, Inc. Washington, D.C.

Use Guidelines & Citation

Use Guidelines and Citation

The Small Print: Trademark, Copyright, Citation Guidelines, Restrictions on Use, and Information Disclaimer.

Note: All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at http://explorer.natureserve.org were updated to be current with NatureServe's central databases as of March 2019.
Note: This report was printed on

Trademark Notice: "NatureServe", NatureServe Explorer, The NatureServe logo, and all other names of NatureServe programs referenced herein are trademarks of NatureServe. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2019 NatureServe, 2511 Richmond (Jefferson Davis) Highway, Suite 930, Arlington, VA 22202, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Each document delivered from this server or web site may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that document. The following citation should be used in any published materials which reference the web site.

Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2019. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

Restrictions on Use: Permission to use, copy and distribute documents delivered from this server is hereby granted under the following conditions:
  1. The above copyright notice must appear in all copies;
  2. Any use of the documents available from this server must be for informational purposes only and in no instance for commercial purposes;
  3. Some data may be downloaded to files and altered in format for analytical purposes, however the data should still be referenced using the citation above;
  4. No graphics available from this server can be used, copied or distributed separate from the accompanying text. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by NatureServe. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel, or otherwise any license or right under any trademark of NatureServe. No trademark owned by NatureServe may be used in advertising or promotion pertaining to the distribution of documents delivered from this server without specific advance permission from NatureServe. Except as expressly provided above, nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right under any NatureServe copyright.
Information Warranty Disclaimer: All documents and related graphics provided by this server and any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server are provided "as is" without warranty as to the currentness, completeness, or accuracy of any specific data. NatureServe hereby disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to any documents provided by this server or any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, including but not limited to all implied warranties and conditions of merchantibility, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. NatureServe makes no representations about the suitability of the information delivered from this server or any other documents that are referenced to or linked to this server. In no event shall NatureServe be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential damages, or for damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information contained in any documents provided by this server or in any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, under any theory of liability used. NatureServe may update or make changes to the documents provided by this server at any time without notice; however, NatureServe makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. Since the data in the central databases are continually being updated, it is advisable to refresh data retrieved at least once a year after its receipt. The data provided is for planning, assessment, and informational purposes. Site specific projects or activities should be reviewed for potential environmental impacts with appropriate regulatory agencies. If ground-disturbing activities are proposed on a site, the appropriate state natural heritage program(s) or conservation data center can be contacted for a site-specific review of the project area (see Visit Local Programs).

Feedback Request: NatureServe encourages users to let us know of any errors or significant omissions that you find in the data through (see Contact Us). Your comments will be very valuable in improving the overall quality of our databases for the benefit of all users.