About Natural Heritage New Mexico
Natural Heritage New Mexico serves the people of New Mexico in their efforts to effectively manage and conserve their unique, diverse, and valuable biological resources. We perform conservation biology research in the context of global change, enhance conservation literacy and training, and are a portal for acquiring and disseminating biodiversity conservation information for New Mexico and the Southwest.
- research on plants, animals, and ecological communities of conservation importance;
- collection and dissemination of information through various biological databases;
- educational opportunities for UNM undergraduate and graduate students, through participation in database and research efforts; and
- participation in local and regional conservation planning, in cooperation with governmental and non-governmental entities.
A Centralized Data Source: At NHNM, information is available from a single source. Staff collect and assemble information from museums, herbaria, universities, published and unpublished reports, scientists, natural history groups, and the ongoing work of NHNM staff and contractors.
Reliable, Objective Information in a Consistent Format: All records accepted for entry in NHNM databases have been carefully screened and verified by information specialists. Each location record for a rare species or natural plant community is systematically augmented with a standard set of spatial, ecological, and administrative boundary attributes and rated for level of geographical precision and protection. Rigorous quality control procedures minimize transcription and data entry errors.
Continually Updated Information: NHNM databases are permanent and dynamic. Records are entered and edited on a daily basis using specialized database management software, and the data collecting process is continuous. The value of the database increases with each year of operation.
Sensitive Data is Protected: NHNM databases contain records which are sensitive for ecological, academic, or other reasons, or because they occur on private property. These records fall under the exemption provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and WILL NOT be released to the public. Such records are normally listed in reports without location information attached, but with a contact address provided so the reason for protection of the record can be discussed. Exceptions are made only under specified circumstances, with the understanding that this information will not be released to the general public.
Easily Accessible Information: A primary goal of NHNM is to make data available, and software is specifically designed to generate customized reports. Information is provided to anyone by submitting an information request. In most cases, the information required will be available within two to three weeks.