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USFWS - TNC Biodiversity Information Cooperative Agreement
Internet Access to The Nature Conservancy's BioSource
Web Site (http://www.consci.tnc.org/fws)
The Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy have entered
into a Cooperative Agreement to facilitate development and sharing of
biodiversity information. As part of a 1-year pilot project under
this Agreement, all Service offices with Internet access* can now
access TNC's BioSource Web site. BioSource contains biological and
conservation information on thousands of U.S. species tracked by TNC
and individual State Natural Heritage programs.
BioSource includes data from the Natural Heritage Central Databases
developed by TNC in cooperation with the Natural Heritage programs and
the Association for Biodiversity Information, an umbrella organization
which represents the network of Natural Heritage programs. Natural
Heritage programs routinely gather and maintain data on resident flora
and fauna in accordance with a standardized methodology. This
information is relayed annually to TNC where it is reviewed,
reconciled, and then incorporated into the NHCD. Other contributors
of information include Federal and State agencies, conservation
organizations, and educational and research institutions such as the
North Carolina Botanical Garden, the Missouri Botanical Garden, the
Smithsonian Institution, the American Orinthologists' Union, and the
American Fisheries Society. TNC and the Natural Heritage programs use
these data to assess species status at State, national and global
BioSource was developed specifically to facilitate Service access to
NHCD data by making it available electronically to all Service
installations in an attractive, user-friendly form. the data set is
updated quarterly with new information developed by TNC and the
individual State Natural Heritage programs. The current pilot project
will lead to an improved data system that will be available to the
Service as well as other subscribers.
Using BioSource, you can:
- Quickly determine the State, national and global conservation ranks
assigned by TNC to more than 15,000 plant and animal species, as well
as the status of all listed, proposed, and candidate species under the
Endangered Species Act and the lead Service Region.
- Generate status reports for select species which include detailed
taxonomic and habitat descriptions, life history, management,
distribution, and threats information.
- Run searches or create species lists using a variety of sorting
options, such as by State, Service Region, ESA status, and type of
organism. For instance, BioSource could generate a list of all the
amphibians and mollusks in Region 4 that are globally ranked by TNC as
imperiled (G1 or G2) but are not currently listed as Endangered or
Threatened under ESA.
- Learn more about TNC, the network of State Natural Heritage
programs, and ABI, and link to their Web sites.
- Learn more about the NHCD and the methodology used by TNC and the
network of Natural Heritage programs.
BioSource does not contain site-specific information. However, such
information may be obtained from individual State Natural Heritage
programs. The Service is currently discussing with TNC, ABI, and
several Federal agencies the possible development of a database to
make locational information readily available to land managers while
also protecting sensitive site information.
Products generated from BioSource are subject to a licensing agreement
and may not be distributed outside the Service except under specified
circumstances. Users should make sure they read the data use
restrictions included on the BioSource Web site.
Developing the best possible conservation databases must be a
collaborative effort in which all users of the databases both
participate and benefit. BioSource allows for easy E-mail
communication with TNC. Users are encouraged to review existing
information in the database for possible errors or omissions and send
TNC useful unpublished reports or other information for evaluation and
possible incorporation into the NHCD. Users also may use the E-mail
capability to request clarification of data and to suggest future
improvements to BioSource.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact Susan Lawrence in
the Division of Endangered Species at (703) 358-2105.
* You will need to have either Netscape Navigator (preferable) or
Internet Explorer browsers. Other browsers either won't work at all
or may misinterpret the data. If you don't have one of these
browsers, you can access the Office of Information Resources
Management's Website for browser guidance