As a conservation biologist for over 25 years, I have relied on NatureServe for the best available information so critical to protecting the Earth's rich biological diversity. Natural areas data is the single most important tool in my tool box and few organizations know more about natural areas data than NatureServe. As the national association of the state natural heritage programs within the U.S. as well as a highly respected international conservation organization, NatureServe combines essential on-the-ground local expertise with strong working relationships with leading conservation, industry and economic interests globally. This enables NatureServe scientists to develop and advance the leading conservation technologies and structured decision-making processes from around the world with locally evaluated data from scientist and natural resource professionals who know the local ecology and the unique ecological dynamics of the areas where the information will be applied. I know of few organizations comprised of more dedicated and committed professionals to protecting natural areas and local biodiversity and I would not be surprised if even the success of those organizations are due in part to NatureServe data or their ecosystem-based management tools.
NatureServe is an non-profit organization (based in Arlington), which makes the difference in the day-to-day with their innovative methodologies connect the social sciences and conservation of
nature, so it has a great influence on decision-makers, academia, business and the general public
on crucial issues such as adaptation to climate change, species and ecosystems’ health and the establishment and consolidation of protected areas across the Americas. This organization composed of very professional and committed people; for me it is very clear that this group is
willing to offer their best to do their jobs and support other organizations and individuals with an interest or influence on the conservation of nature. If there were no NatureServe, we would have to create it ...
NatureServe helps my Conservation Data Center in man ways. They are always providing us information about opportunities of funding, awards and others. Their paig Infonatura http://www.natureserve.org/infonatura/ is useful and an excelent reference about wildlife of Latinamerica and the Caribean
I have cooperated with NatureServe and the organization from which it budded off (The Nature Conservancy) since 1988. It is very professional and is the only organization doing what it does in a field that gets little credit in relation to the importance of its work. The organization, its mandate, its staff, and the way they go about their business have been huge inspirations for me as a conservation biologist. I highly recommend NatureServe as a starting point for finding out about the elements of biodiversity (species and ecological communities) in the Western Hemisphere.
The strength of NatureServe and the Natural Heritage Network lies with the expertise, passion and dedication demonstrated on a daily basis by staff. Kudos to the exceptional work completed to date, and best wishes for continued success in the future.
NatureServe is uniquely situated between State/provincial and Federal Government agencies on one hand, and volunteers, naturalist groups and those concerned about that status of our wildlife legacy on the other. By filling the information void, and by providing value-added analyses and interpretation of the data from a wide variety of sources NatureServe enables soundly based conservation decisions to be made whether by governments, resource sector industries, or others. It is truly a remarkable organization with an intelligent and relevant business plan.
Before retiring, I was the Endangered Species Listing Coorinator for the US Fish & Wildlife Service's Southwest Regional Office. In reviewing information presented on the status of any rare species, I regularly turned to NatureServe's website because I trust them to present the best available science-basded information. Good science is important in decision making on rare and endangered species, and I trust the science NatureServe presents.
As a botanist in the US Forest Service, I often check the "NatureServe Explorer" web site to find important information about a rare plant. NatureServe provides one-stop-shopping for global and state ranks (numerical scores from 1 to 5 indicating status from "critically imperiled"to "secure" based on rarity and threats). NatureServe's national system allows the Forest Service to take a more consistent approach nation-wide in considering relative rarity of species across state lines and among the many different National Forests and National Grasslands we manage for the public. We use this information to focus limited funds and our efforts to conserve biological diversity. Without NatureServe, we would not have this consistency.
NatureServe serves a critical role in accumulating, analyzing, and disseminating information on biological diversity to inform conservation planning and implementation.
NatureServe has many strengths, but what resonates with me is the combination of global vision with a local presence. Through its natural heritage programs and conservation data centres, NatureServe is able to provide objective biodiversity data and expertise to solve problems at the local level. Through its vast network of member programs and data resources, NatureServe is able to place this local biodiversity data in both regional and global contexts -- a valuable service not available anywhere else.
I think most people expect conservation science information from NatureServe. Well, so do I, but more importantly, I find that NS staff provide leadership in conservation science and data delelopment. They listen to what we know or need to know and forge into data development that is responsive and progressive. Their influence is obvious when I participate in conservation planning forums, not only at the national level but at every scale. Sometimes NS staff are at the table. Even when they are not, people that are present speak to the perspectives and data products that I recognize from NS leaders. I think the conservation community expects a lot from NS. I know that I do. - Dennis Figg
I personally have known and worked with many of the staff in NatureServe for many years. They are all top-notch professionals who are enormously dedicated to nature conservation and providing North America in particular with biodiversity information that all public and non-profit conservation organizations must have to get our jobs done. Their classifications of ecosystems and conservation rankings of species are everyday parlance of most state and federal natural resource agencies. NatureServe fills a very unique niche among conservation nonprofits - they along with state natural heritage programs are managers and disseminators of invaluable data on the status and distribution of plants, animals, and habitats in North America.
As a staff member of a state natural areas agency, I have worked with NatureServe since it was created. NatureServe gives our state agency National/International priorities on the species and natural communities we protect, keeps us in communication with other similar programs around the nation and the world, allows us to add our data to analyses of larger areas, provides us with common classifications and nomenclature, and provides many other services. Simply, NatureServe makes us more important that we would be otherwise. We depend on them!
More than just the leading source for information about rare and endangered species and threatened ecosystems in the Americas, NatureServe is full of bright, intelligent and passionate people who find effective ways to support conservation action with new technologies and partnerships.
NatureServe provides a framework for managing and sharing conservation information that is not available from any other source. It also plays a critical role in coordinating the efforts of the 85 US and international natural heritage programs and conservation data centers. NatureServe and the partner programs play a significant role supporting the protection of rare species and the establishment of conservation lands across North American and Central America. These conservation lands, whether state or national parks, wildlife refuges, or watershed protection initiatives are critically important to the ecological health of our planet and the well-being of its citizens.
As a former research associate and an ecologist currently working in Ontario, Canada, I use NatureServe's Biodiversity Explorer tool routinely to obtain information on conservation priority species. I have personally benefited from the many insightful articles and papers written by NatureServe's network of conservation experts.
Naturserve provides an invaluable clearing-house for biodiversity information. Their committment to networking state agencies is commendable and necesssary. Many other efforts have been made to create biodiversity hubs and they have failed or been only variably used.
I was preparing for a local radio interview on the impacts of the gulf oil spill on migratory birds (piping plover and American white pelican) and only had 10 minutes to prepare. While I had the basic general facts I needed more precise information on the extent of these species' wintering range in relation to the gulf oil spill. NatureServe's website delivered current and up-to-date information and images that I used and provided the links to for the interview. This is only one recent example demonstrating the power of sharing such credible and transparent information with a broader audience for conservation purposes.
I have worked with NatureServe, and its network of natural heritage experts in positions I have held in three separate states, in university research, private sector and state government roles. In all cases, I turned to NS to get the highest quality, most current, data and information on whatever species or natural community I was working to protect. They always had it, in one place, available via smart on-line map- and database-driven tools. NatureServe will undoubtedly continue to gain recognition as the most comprehensive source for the highest quality data on all rare species and habitats in the U.S., Canada and Latin America.
Want answers -- get data. And get data based on actual evidence. From human health care to health of the environment, quality information is vital for sound decision making. The better the data, the better the outcome. NatureServe is the nation's leading conservation data support non-profit. Full stop. They provide some of the best diagnostics to the conservation community --- from the non-profit community to government managers to the general public.
There is no finer group of scientists and data managers out there. NatureServe provides many services and professional expertise to the scientific community. The history of standard and methods for 35+ years makes this the best there is.