Update of Natural Heritage Important Areas for the Hudson River Valley

Project Sponsor: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Water
End Date: June 30, 2018

Summary

We generated Important Areas (IAs) for 1,901 rare animal, rare plant, and significant natural community occurrences within the ten counties in the Hudson River Valley and within the full extent of the tidal Hudson River watershed, including 306 occurrences that were entered since the previous update of IAs in 2013. NYNHP also generated IAs for 850 locations of three other herp species and for 2,263 locations of wild brook trout. We delivered Important Area spatial layers organized into 18 feature classes in two file geodatabases.

Natural Heritage Important Areas (IAs) are lands and waters that can play a critical role in the conservation of rare species and significant natural communities. IAs are derived using Important Area GIS models (IA models) applied to known occurrences of rare plants and animals and significant natural communities documented in the New York Natural Heritage database, or applied to observation locations of other species obtained from other sources. The Natural Heritage Important Areas in the Hudson River Valley factsheet (PDF, 986 KB) provides a summary of Important Areas and how they can be used in local conservation planning.

IA models are specific to a species or species group, and are based on the life histories and habitats of that species or species group; for communities, models are based on the community type’s size and natural ecological processes. Important Areas include the specific locations where the animals, plants, and/or ecological communities have been observed, as well as:

habitat to support rare animal and plant populations, including areas which may be used by rare animals for breeding, nesting, feeding, roosting, or over-wintering;

areas that support the natural processes critical to maintaining these plant and animal habitats, or critical to maintaining significant ecological communities.

Habitat for many common animals and plants is also found within Important Areas, so conserving habitat for rare species benefits many other species at the same time.

For this project, New York Natural Heritage Program (NYNHP) generated Important Areas for 1901 rare animal, rare plant, and significant natural community occurrences within the ten counties in the Hudson River Valley and within the full extent of the tidal Hudson River watershed, including 306 occurrences that were entered since the previous update of IAs in 2013. NYNHP also generated IAs for 850 locations of three other herp species and for 2263 locations of wild brook trout. We delivered Important Area spatial layers organized into 18 feature classes in two file geodatabases.

The Town of Highlands in Orange County had 68 species and community types generating IAs, the highest number in the project area.

Natural Heritage Important Areas for the Hudson River Valley may be viewed on the Hudson Valley Natural Resource Mapper.

Download the Natural Heritage Important Areas in the Hudson River Valley ArcGIS geodatabase and layer file (ZIP, 15.2 MB). Also included is a document containing an overview of Important Areas, a description of the GIS data, background on the input data and GIS models used to generate Important Areas, and an Appendix on Natural Heritage methodology; and separate documents with detail Important Area model methodology for animals, plants, and natural communities.


Nov. 30, 2020 | Updated Jan. 30, 2021, 1:49 p.m.