NatureServe today announced the public release of NatureServe Surveyor (http://surveyor.natureserve.org), a subscription-based web application that enables users across the United States and Canada to screen project sites and other areas of interest for the known presence of threatened and imperiled species.
By tapping the best sources for local information about species, this easy-to-use application enables planners, foresters, resource managers, consultants, developers, and other environmental health and safety professionals to access the NatureServe network's uniquely detailed and comprehensive data on at-risk plant and animal populations.
Subscribers can use NatureServe Surveyor to discover whether species are known to be present within a given county, watershed, or ecosystem. They can also draw or upload areas of interest to determine whether it contains known occurrences of threatened and imperiled plants and animals, including those with legal status under the U.S. Endangered Species Act or Canadian Species at Risk Act.
"The release of NatureServe Surveyor marks a milestone for our 80-plus network members," says Mary Klein, president and CEO of NatureServe. "By providing cost-effective access to our federated species data, this tool makes it easier for everyone to proactively identify areas with sensitive species—and develop plans that minimize impacts to unique resources."
How NatureServe Surveyor Works
NatureServe Surveyor compares users' selected project areas with data from the NatureServe network, and each survey returns a report that can be printed, saved, and included in project documents. Moreover, the tool makes it easy to get additional help by connecting users directly with the local data stewards. As a result, NatureServe Surveyor can improve efficiency and streamline documentation for projects related to planning, due diligence, project selection, assessment, environmental review, or emergency response.
NatureServe Surveyor is a subscription-based tool. Registered subscribers can prepay for as many or as few surveys as they wish. For just $26 per query, users can begin using the tool. Discounted pricing of $22 per survey is available for subscribers who prepay for more than 500, and federal agencies qualify for special pricing and invoicing. Subscribers also have the option to integrate survey results seamlessly into their own GIS application via a web service.
To balance data sensitivity with the need for detailed information, each survey delivers one of three different levels of information based on the size of the selected project area—the larger the area, the more detailed the information the user receives about known at-risk plants and animals within it. Project areas can be as small as one square mile.
When a survey identifies the presence of species, NatureServe Surveyor makes it easy to connect to the sources of the data: the state, provincial, territorial, and tribal members of the NatureServe network. As the people who collect and maintain the data that underpins the surveys, these local experts can help subscribers learn more about the project area and quickly identify other relevant on-the-ground concerns and considerations.
"I am grateful to all of the NatureServe network members that participated in the development of Surveyor and are contributing their data," says Leslie Honey, NatureServe's vice president for conservation services. "Together we have created a powerful tool that only our broad public-private collaboration could make possible." Funders that helped contribute to the development of NatureServe Surveyor include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.
To learn more about NatureServe Surveyor, try out a demo, and subscribe, visit http://surveyor.natureserve.org
NatureServe is a non-profit conservation organization whose mission is to provide the scientific basis for effective conservation action. The NatureServe network includes member programs operating in all 50 U.S. states, the Navajo Nation and Tennessee Valley Authority, nearly all Canadian provinces and territories, and across Central and South America. NatureServe provides a unique body of detailed scientific information and conservation biodiversity expertise about the plants, animals, and ecosystems of the Americas used across the public and private sectors to make informed decisions about managing our natural resources. Learn more at www.natureserve.org.
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