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Natural Heritage Element Occurrences (October 2017)


Download Link: http://data.nconemap.gov/downloads/vector/nheo.zip
Abstract: The Natural Heritage Element Occurrences (nheo) shapefile identifies occurrences of rare plants and animals, exemplary or unique natural communities, and important animal assemblages (e.g., heronries and colonial waterbird nesting sites). Collectively, these plants, animals, natural communities, and animal assemblages are referred to as "elements of natural diversity" or simply as "elements". Specific occurrences of these elements are referred to as "element occurrences" or simply "EOs". Note that records for the Blue Ridge Parkway are not included in the shapefile. You must contact the Blue Ridge Parkway if you need information for this area. Because these data can quickly become outdated, the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program (NC NHP) should be contacted before use of the data set to ensure data currency. Please use the following format when acknowledging products derived from this data set: North Carolina Natural Heritage Program. 2017. Biotics Database. Division of Land and Water Stewardship. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Raleigh, North Carolina. While efforts have been made to ensure that these data are accurate and reliable, the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program cannot assume liability for any damages or misrepresentation caused by any inaccuracies in the data.
Purpose: This data was created to assist governmental agencies and others in making resource management decisions through use of a Geographic Information System (GIS).
Supplemental Information: An extensive tabular database is maintained by the Natural Heritage Program. Other data that can be accessed include element occurrence identification number. Supplemental materials are also available that indicate the state, national, and global status of the rare plants and animals of North Carolina. These publications are available from the NHP and are helpful in understanding each natural heritage record. (SEE CROSS REFERENCES) NATURAL HERITAGE PROGRAM DATA The North Carolina Natural Heritage Program is the state's most comprehensive source of information on rare and endangered animals and plants, and exemplary natural communities, known collectively as "elements of natural diversity." Since 1976, the program has systematically gathered information on the occurrence and the status of the state's ecological resources. The inventory consists of information compiled from a broad range of sources including herbarium and museum collections, published and unpublished literature, and field surveys by volunteers, contracted workers, and staff. Information from and interpretation of this database for specific sites is available from the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program. This is generally the preferred method of getting information on elements of natural diversity. The geographic content of the Natural Heritage Program element occurrence database has also been incorporated into the NC OneMap database where it can be combined with other geographic data for planning and analysis. Users of the data must, however, be aware of the nature and limitations of the data. LIMITATIONS OF DATA The element occurrence database contains data from a variety of sources, which vary in the quality of their locational information. Some centroid points may be as much as several miles off, though most are closer and many are exact to within one or two seconds of latitude or longitude. The precision of record is indicated in the Natural Heritage Program databases. Because of uncertainty about the precision and accuracy of source data, and because the aerial extent of occurrences is not indicated on CGIA maps, occurrences anywhere within several miles of a site of interest should be regarded as indicating the need for more information. Probability of effects by a project depends on the actual location and extent of the element occurrence, on the nature of the species or community, and on the nature of the action being considered. Interpretation of potential effects should be done only by biologists familiar with the element, with the best locational information available. LIMITATIONS OF ABSENCE OF DATA Although the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program has conducted numerous biological inventories and has assembled as much of the secondary source data as possible, the majority of the state has never been systematically surveyed for rare species or natural communities. In addition, negative surveys are seldom reported to the Natural Heritage Program and are not recorded. The database reflects only locations where an element was once known to occur. It does not distinguish between areas known to have no elements and those that have not been checked. The absence of element location cannot be taken as an indication of absence of elements or of ecological concerns. Natural Heritage Program biologists are often able to give indications of the potential for concern in unsurveyed areas. DATA CURRENCY The Natural Heritage Program databases are continually updated as new information is acquired. The locational database at CGIA is updated as needed for applications. Users should determine the date of the last update and, if necessary, see that an update is done prior to their application being run. All printed maps from the GIS should be dated. Depending on activity in a given area, a map may quickly become outdated, or may remain current for several years. It is not possible to set a specific expiration date on maps; however, data more than six months old should not be depended on without checking with the Natural Heritage Program. Only a small portion of the rare species and community locations are monitored on a regular basis. Information in the Natural Heritage Program database represents the occurrence at the last time it was observed. The date of last observation is given in the Natural Heritage Program database but is not included in the NC OneMap datalayer. Records are kept in the database until the destruction of an occurrence is confirmed. Thus, some of the records are likely to represent locations where an element has not been seen in many years and may no longer be present. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Additional information about databases, elements of natural diversity, and user services is available from the Natural Heritage Program. The basic data are "public records" and are available for inspection on request for reasonable purposes. Beginning with the May 16, 2008 version quite a few low precision, county-level element occurrences were replaced with more precise locations. There was a large drop in acreage from the previous version, but loss of acreage in the NHEO layer should not be interpreted as loss of habitat. The relatively few low precision records in the coverage will dominate the acreage total, and any changes in these will obscure any acreage trends. The trend of replacing low precision records with higher precision will continue in future versions. That doesn't guarantee that the number of low precision records will continually go down, though, since NHP may start tracking a new species which has only poor data initially.
Publication Date: 20171001
Originator: Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Division of Land and Water Stewardship, North Carolina Natural Heritage Program
Publisher: Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Division of Land and Water Stewardship, North Carolina Natural Heritage Program
Online Linkage: http://www.ncnhp.org
Time Period of Content:
Time Period Information:
Range of Dates/Times:
Beginning Date: 1990
Ending Date: 20171001
Currentness Reference: Original release and last revision dates
Status:
Progress: Complete
Maintenance and Update Frequency: As needed
Spatial Domain:
Bounding Coordinates:
West Bounding Coordinate: -84.205
East Bounding Coordinate: -75.417
North Bounding Coordinate: 36.559
South Bounding Coordinate: 33.728
Contact Electronic Mail Address: suzanne.mason@ncdcr.gov
Contact Voice Telephone: 919-707-8637
Grid Coordinate System Name: State Plane Coordinate System 1983
Horizontal Datum Name: North American Datum of 1983
Planar Distance Units: meters
Ellipsoid Name: Geodetic Reference System 1980
Attribute:
Attribute Label: FID
Attribute Definition: Internal feature number.
Attribute Definition Source: ESRI
Attribute Domain Values:
Unrepresentable Domain: Sequential unique whole numbers that are automatically generated.
Attribute:
Attribute Label: Shape
Attribute Definition: Feature geometry.
Attribute Definition Source: ESRI
Attribute Domain Values:
Unrepresentable Domain: Coordinates defining the features.
Attribute:
Attribute Label: EO_ID
Attribute Definition: Element Occurrence Identifier (A number uniquely identifies the element occurrence.)
Attribute Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Unrepresentable Domain: Identifier varies.
Attribute Measurement Frequency: As needed
Attribute:
Attribute Label: ACCURACY
Attribute Definition: Estimated Representational Accuracy (The estimated representational accuracy is the approximate percentage of the element occurrence - as represented by its digitized features buffered by their uncertainty distance - that is believed to be occupied by the element.)
Attribute Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Enumerated Domain:
Enumerated Domain Value: 1 - Very High
Enumerated Domain Value Definition: Greater than 95% of the polygon is occupied by the element.
Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Enumerated Domain:
Enumerated Domain Value: 2 - High
Enumerated Domain Value Definition: Between 80% and 95% of the polygon is occupied by the element.
Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Enumerated Domain:
Enumerated Domain Value: 3 - Medium
Enumerated Domain Value Definition: Between 20% and 80% of the polygon is occupied by the element.
Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Enumerated Domain:
Enumerated Domain Value: 4 - Low
Enumerated Domain Value Definition: Between 5% and 20% of the polygon is occupied by the element.
Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Enumerated Domain:
Enumerated Domain Value: 5 - Very Low
Enumerated Domain Value Definition: Less than 5% of the polygon is occupied by the element.
Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Enumerated Domain:
Enumerated Domain Value: 6 - Unknown
Enumerated Domain Value Definition: Percentage of the polygon occupied by the element is unknown.
Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute:
Attribute Label: EO_STATUS
Attribute Definition: Element occurrence status
Attribute Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Enumerated Domain:
Enumerated Domain Value: Current
Enumerated Domain Value Definition: The occurrence was observed recently.
Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Enumerated Domain:
Enumerated Domain Value: Historical
Enumerated Domain Value Definition: Either the element has not been found in recent surveys; or it has not been surveyed recently enough to be confident they are still present; or the occurrence is thought to be destroyed.
Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Enumerated Domain:
Enumerated Domain Value: Obscure
Enumerated Domain Value Definition: The date the element was last observed is uncertain.
Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Measurement Frequency: As needed
Attribute:
Attribute Label: EO_RANK
Attribute Definition: Element Occurrence Rank. Indicates the estimated viability of the element occurrence.
Attribute Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Enumerated Domain:
Enumerated Domain Value: A
Enumerated Domain Value Definition: The EO has excellent estimated viability/ecological integrity.
Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Enumerated Domain:
Enumerated Domain Value: B
Enumerated Domain Value Definition: The EO has good estimated viability/ecological integrity.
Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Enumerated Domain:
Enumerated Domain Value: C
Enumerated Domain Value Definition: The EO has fair estimated viability/ecological integrity.
Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Enumerated Domain:
Enumerated Domain Value: D
Enumerated Domain Value Definition: The EO has poor estimated viability/ecological integrity.
Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Enumerated Domain:
Enumerated Domain Value: E
Enumerated Domain Value Definition: The EO has recently been verified to still exist, but there is insufficient  information to estimate its viability/ecological integrity.
Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Enumerated Domain:
Enumerated Domain Value: F
Enumerated Domain Value Definition: Recent surveys failed to relocate an EO previously reported, but there is no  evidence the EO has been destroyed.
Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Enumerated Domain:
Enumerated Domain Value: H
Enumerated Domain Value Definition: The EO is old, and if surveyed recently, surveys failed to find it, but there is no evidence it is destroyed.
Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Enumerated Domain:
Enumerated Domain Value: NR
Enumerated Domain Value Definition: The EO has not yet been assigned a rank.
Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Enumerated Domain:
Enumerated Domain Value: U
Enumerated Domain Value Definition: The EO cannot be assigned a rank because of insufficient information.
Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Enumerated Domain:
Enumerated Domain Value: X
Enumerated Domain Value Definition: The EO has been destroyed.
Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Enumerated Domain:
Enumerated Domain Value: i
Enumerated Domain Value Definition: The EO was introduced. (Used as a qualifier of the above ranks.)
Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Enumerated Domain:
Enumerated Domain Value: r
Enumerated Domain Value Definition: The EO was reintroduced or restored. (Used as a qualifier of the above ranks.)
Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Enumerated Domain:
Enumerated Domain Value: ?
Enumerated Domain Value Definition: There is uncertainty about the rank. (Used as a qualifier of the above ranks.)
Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute:
Attribute Label: LAST_OBS
Attribute Definition: Last Observed Date. The date on which the element occurrence was most recently observed. Format of the dates is: yyyy-mm-dd. When the date is not precisely known, estimates are given.
Attribute Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Unrepresentable Domain: Dates vary by feature.
Attribute:
Attribute Label: NAME_CATGY
Attribute Definition: categorizes the occurrences into broad taxonomic groups.
Attribute Definition Source: Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Unrepresentable Domain: Categories vary by feature.
Attribute:
Attribute Label: DATA_DATE
Attribute Definition: The date that the shapefile was exported from the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program's database.
Attribute Definition Source: NC Natural Heritage Program
Attribute Domain Values:
Unrepresentable Domain: Labels vary by feature.
Distribution Liability: NCCGIA is charged with the development and maintenance of NC OneMap and, in cooperation with other mapping organizations, is committed to offering its users accurate, useful, and current information. Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information, errors and conditions originating from physical sources used to develop this dataset may be reflected in the data supplied. The user must be aware of possible conditions and bear responsibility for the appropriate use of the information with respect to possible errors, original map scale, collection methodology, currency of data, and other conditions specific to certain data. NCCGIA does not support secondary distribution of this dataset without its current, compliant metadata record. The use of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by NCCGIA or North Carolina State Government.
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