PA Natural Diversity Inventory Data Collection, Species Ranking & Dissemination

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1 PA Natural Diversity Inventory Data Collection, Species Ranking & Dissemination

2 For today Authority Data Collection Ranking Dissemination

3 AUTHORITY

4 DCNR authority to: inventory ecological and geologic resources of the Commonwealth and make data available Authority Act 18: Conservation and Natural Resources Act Section 305 Ecological and Geologic Resources

5 DCNR implements Act 18 through: PA Natural Heritage Program Inventories PNDI tools (PA Conservation Explorer) Ecological studies

6 Who is the PA Natural Heritage Program? Partners Member of International Network of Heritage Programs In Cooperation With

7 The Natural Heritage Network 80+ independent member programs collect, manage, and analyze data about plants, animals, and ecological communities Focus on at-risk species and ecosystems Standard data collection and management Natural Heritage programs throughout U.S.; conservation data centres (CDCs) across Canada and in 12 Latin American countries

8 Inventories Tools Services Biodiversity Data Collection and Management County Natural Heritage Area Inventories Conservation Planning Reports and Environmental Review Tool Website Newsletter

9 Data Collection

10 Data Collection Where does the species location come from? Expert biologists from a variety of professionals: Species data Consulting Firms PNHP Inventories S U Individual Experts R Colleges & Universities V DCNR, PGC, PFBC, USFWS staff E Y S Land trusts, local and regional conservancies PNHP Tracking & PNDI Database

11 Data Collection o Collected in standard format Survey methods Data collection Site quality rankings o Surveys performed by variety of experts o All surveys and species location QC d before acceptance

12 PNHP Tracked Species o Are all species tracked? Listed species Proposed listed Watch-list Show evidence that species population changing Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Plants Terrestrial Invertebrates Natural Plant Communities Geologic Features Game Commission Birds Mammals Fish and Boat Commission Fish Mussels Reptiles Amphibians Non-Mussel Aquatic Invertebrates

13 Species Classification & Status Determination

14 Process for Status Determination in PA Pennsylvania Biological Survey PABS is responsible for making recommendations on the status (endangered, threatened, etc.) of wild species of animals, plants and other organisms in the state Nonprofit organization to increase knowledge of, and foster the perpetuation of, the natural biological diversity of the Commonwealth ~150 scientists throughout Pennsylvania Made up of members from state and federal agencies, PA s major natural history museums, scientific institutions, professional biologists, and other experts State agencies make status determinations based on the PABS recommendations and the agency s authority

15 PABS Technical Committees Within PABS, there are 11 Technical Committees: Amphibians and Reptiles Bryophytes and Lichens (non-vascular plants) Vascular Plants Plant Community Classification Fishes Invertebrates Mammals Mollusks Ornithological Protists and Fungi Climate Change

16 Species Status Determinations Status determinations based on: Field observations in PA by species experts PNHP data Species rarity, threats and trends Two Tools used to capture all info for assessments NatureServe Rank Calculator IUCN criteria Field observations, PNHP data, and two tools assessed to provide ranking determinations

17 Status Determination Process Phase I: NatureServe Rank Calculator Compare element at global, national or state level 10 factors in three categories: Rarity (range, distribution, abundance) Threats (water quality, disturbance, runoff) Trends (populations decreasing/increasing over time)

18 NatureServe Status Classification Global and State ranks G/S1 Critically Imperiled G/S2 Imperiled G/S3 Vulnerable G/S4 Apparently Secure G/S5 Secure G/SX Presumed Extirpated

19 Status Determination Process Phase II: IUCN After NatureServe ranking, another set of assessment, International Union for Conservation of Nature criteria IUCN criteria modified for a regional level; Immediate Concern Cautionary Concern No Concern

20 Status Determination Process Phase I and Phase II assessed Looking for consistency between assessments and field observations PABS provides agency with proposed status recommendations Agency assesses PABS recommendations and makes changes based on agency legal authority Sometimes recommendations followed Sometimes assessment tabled, and more fieldwork requested NOTE: the status determination process outlined is for all technical committees For example, it is the same process for species of special concern (natural communities, plants, birds, mammals, terrestrial invertebrates etc)

21 What s in PNDI? Current State or Federal Status (T, E, Rare etc) Species of Special Concern (as defined by DEP) Proposed State Statuses Proposed T&E Candidate Rare Other Species or Resources Natural Communities Invertebrates Geologic features

22 Data Dissemination aka PNDI Tool

23 Current Conservation Planning Tool County Natural Heritage Inventories & Interactive Map View entire report by county Click to get individual area reports Limited threatened and endangered species information

24 PNDI Environmental Review Tool First of its kind launched in 2005 Model for other states that followed, AZ, VA, NC, LA Quickly screens projects for potential impacts to threatened and endangered species Existing tool has reached the end of its lifespan as software and technology age

25 Usage PNDI Screenings and Further Coordination Potential Impacts No Impact

26 Two Tools Combined

27 Pennsylvania Conservation Explorer Conservation Planning & PNDI Environmental Review Tool o View conservation information for land-use and conservation planning Anyone can view and create maps of conservation areas, statuses and values. Access to Conservation Planning is open to all users o Perform a PNDI Environmental Review and obtain a PNDI receipt Perform online screenings for potential impacts to threatened, endangered, special concern species and resources.

28 Mapping Enhancements Presque Isle State Park

29

30 Conservation Planning Purpose: Conservation planning & project assessment Open access: No login required View conservation information Landscape level assessments Obtain custom planning reports Choose from 11 basemaps Add your own data layers

31 Access to Conservation Information Summer 2015

32 Visible Information

33 Access to County Natural Area Inventory Reports

34 Conservation Planning Report Define an Area of Interest Generate a Conservation Report

35 Add Your Own Map Resources

36 PNDI Environmental Screening

37 PNDI Environmental Screening Purpose: Project-specific screening Register, data sharing agreement & login required Convenience Charge for PNDI Receipt View species, habitat & conservation layers Submit project materials via tool

38

39 Environmental Review

40 Environmental Review Visible Species Habitats

41 Draw Project Area

42

43

44 PNDI Receipt Convenience Charge $40 per PNDI Receipt No cost option obtain review directly from agencies T&E Names will be displayed on PNDI Receipt User can also submit project for review to state agencies through tool PNDI Receipt can be modified if needed (project area changes) Anticipate approximately 12,000-16,000 PNDI receipts/year

45 Information Access Three ways to access information, screen or review project: Conservation Planning through the PA Conservation Explorer View conservation information Create Conservation Report PNDI Project Screening through the PA Conservation Explorer View conservation location info & T&E and Species of Special Concern Screen project, obtain PNDI Receipt No Potential Impact: clearance Potential Impact: submit project to DCNR, PGC, FBC or USFWS as needed for further review through the PA Conservation Explorer PNDI Project Review through DCNR, PGC, FBC and USFWS Projects mailed to all four agencies for review of project Projects are cleared or further information or survey requested

46 Improved User interface Clicking conservation info on/off Improved mapping User accounts save projects Improvements Visual Species Habitat Info Public: see conservation information for planning Environmental Review: users register see visible species habitat for the review process Updated species polygons: Move from the use of mostly Generic species buffers vs. Species Habitat-based polygons Improved ability to see areas of potential habitat conflict/impact Project Submission Submit to agencies via tool Summary of Enhancements Administrative functions Improved ability to make tool changes, upgrades and fixes

47 ?Questions?

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