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The Natural Heritage Information System (NM Biotics)

Natural Heritage New Mexico's information is managed using the Natural Heritage Information System (NM Biotics). This system is based on the Biotics biodiversity data model used by Natural Heritage programs throughout the US, Canada and Latin America. Biotics, in turn, grew out of the Biological and Conservation Data System (BCD) designed by the Nature Conservancy. NM Biotics records information on several major components linked to electronic and paper inforamtion sources and GIS (Geographical Information System) data. This overview describes the major components of NM Biotics and the types of information they contain.Element Occurrence:This component is used to manage location-specific records for species or plant communities being tracked by NHNM. Each record includes population and natural plant community data, information on environmental features associated with the species or natural plant community, and precise geographical and ecological data such as: UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator reference), latitude-longitude, 1:24,000 USGS Quadrangle Map, major watershed, and whether or not the site occurs in a Managed Area (National Park, State Park, National Forest, etc). All of these fields are indexed and searchable.The best source for additional information is also cited. Records are based on published and unpublished reports, field surveys, and collection records.Sample queries:

  • Where does the Gray Vireo occur in the National Forest?
  • Are there records of any rare species or ecosystems on BLM property in New Mexico?
  • Where does Todsen's pennyroyal occur in New Mexico and are any of these sites protected?
  • Our client is proposing a gas pipeline in the area outlined on the enclosed map. Has the NHNM identified any species of concern here?

Element Tracking:These are the 'definition records' for each of the species or plant communities (known as 'Elements') that NHNM is tracking. They contain taxonomic information, global and state conservation status ranks (based on degree of endangerment), status on the state tracking list and other ecological details for over 600 plant and animal species and plant communities found in New Mexico.Sample queries:

  • Which federal and state listed species should I look for when conducting a survey in Cibola County?
  • How many taxa in New Mexico are globally rare?
  • Please give me more information on the Potentilla sierrae-blancae Herbaceous Vegetation community.
  • How many federally endangered species occur in New Mexico? What are they?

Source Abstracts:This is a bibliography of information sources (currently over 17,000 records) which includes published and unpublished reports, field surveys, journal articles, organizations, and information from knowledgeable individuals. The sources contained in this database are, in general, focused on rare and endangered species and plant communities. Every report generated by the NHNM includes citations for the sources of the information in the report.Sample queries:

  • Can you provide a bibliography for the Ferruginous Hawk?
  • Where did the information for this species' location come from?

Managed Areas:This summarizes information on areas in New Mexico that are under some type of special management or ownership, such as federal or state. Area in acres, ownership, contact information, boundaries, and special features are noted for managed areas.Sample queries:

  • Which State Parks contain state listed species?
  • What federal listed species are found in state parks?