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Biodiversity Mapping

Species Maps and Data Online

The DEC website provides two exceptional online applications which provide information on the locations of New York's animals, plants, and natural communities: New York Nature Explorer and Environmental Resource Mapper. Both applications display maps of rare animals and plants (including Endangered and Threatened species) and of significant natural communities. Natural communities are high-quality wetlands, forests, grasslands, ponds, streams, and other types of habitats and ecosystems. However, each application also provides its own sets of additional information.

Which Mapping Tool Should I Use?

Environmental Resource Mapper provides maps of natural resources that are regulated or protected by the state, or are of conservation concern. This includes freshwater wetlands, classified and protected streams, and rare animals and plants.

New York Nature Explorer provides maps, species lists, and habitat information on the wide variety of plants and animals in New York State. It is intended for all audiences who want to know more about the natural world. It currently provides county lists of all breeding bird species and all reptile and amphibian species. It also provides locations of rare animals and plants, and of significant natural communities.

Read more about each of these interactive mapping tools and explore the remarkable information available to you.

New York Nature Explorer

nature explorer computer screen shot
New York Nature Explorer is an interactive gateway to biodiversity
information for use by residents, landowners, land managers, municipal
officials, planners, consultants, students or anyone else
interested in the natural world.

With New York Nature Explorer, you can find out about the animals, plants, and habitats in your neighborhood or in your area of interest. Users can choose a county, town, or watershed, or specify their own location on a map, and receive a list and map of animals, plants, and natural communities that have been found there. Users may also choose a specific animal, plant, or natural community type, and get a list and map of the counties, towns, or watersheds where it has been found. Links are available to more information about each species.

Current DEC datasets available in New York Nature Explorer include:

  • rare animals, rare plants, and significant natural communities documented from the ongoing databases of the New York Natural Heritage Program;
  • birds documented as breeding during the 2nd NYS Breeding Bird Atlas Project (2000-2005); and
  • reptiles and amphibians documented during the NYS Amphibian & Reptile Atlas Project (Herp Atlas 1990-1999).

The lists and maps generated from New York Nature Explorer can:

  • help provide a better understanding of the diversity of life in New York and in your area;
  • serve as a resource to better inform land use decisions, natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, and environmental assessment; and
  • offer an initial indication of rare and protected animals and plants possibly in the vicinity for those involved in the planning or permitting of a project or action.

Environmental Resource Mapper

computer screen image of Environmental Resource Mapper application
Environmental Resource Mapper: Information includes regulated
freshwater wetlands; rare animals and plants; streams, rivers,
lakes and ponds; and significant natural communities in New
York State.

Environmental Resource Mapper displays the general areas where rare animals and rare plants, have been documented by the NY Natural Heritage Program. It also displays the specific locations where rare and significant natural communities (such as forests, wetlands, and other habitat types) have been documented. The Environmental Resource Mapper displays locations of New York State regulated freshwater wetlands and of protected streams, rivers, and lakes. These maps are intended as one source of information for landowners, land managers, citizens, local officials, and project sponsors engaged in land use decision making, conservation planning, or environmental assessment of proposed projects or actions. One section of Environmental Resource Mapper provides information to help answer the question "Do I need a permit?"

More about Biodiversity Mapping:

  • New York Nature Explorer - New York Nature Explorer is an online tool for finding out about what animals, plants and habitats are in a county, town, or watershed, or specific area; and the counties, towns, and watersheds where a species or natural community type has been found.
  • Environmental Resource Mapper - The Environmental Resource Mapper is an interactive mapping application that can be used to identify some of New York State's natural resources and environmental features that are state protected, or of conservation concern.
  • Contact for this Page
  • New York Natural Heritage Program
    Division of Fish and Wildlife
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4757
    Send us an email
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  • Page applies to all NYS regions