Data Access & Submissions

Data Access

Data Access: Free Public Tools  

For inquiries that do not require precise rare species locations, we have several tools available for summarized reports and other products. 

  • NatureServe Explorer provides range-wide information on North American species status, trends, and threats, with input from Oregon Biodiversity Information Center and other members of the NatureServe Network.
  • Oregon Biodiversity Explorer lets users create species and habitat lists at the 6th field watershed level.
  • Oregon Wildlife Explorer provides species profiles and predicted habitat maps for Oregon’s rare and common birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.
  • Oregon Rapid Wetland Assessment Protocol (ORWAP) allows a rapid assessment of the functions and values of wetlands, and reports on the presence of known rare wetland species.
  • Oregon Renewable Energy Siting Tool allows prospective developers to input project data in order to get a coarse level perspective of potential land use and military considerations.

Data Requests

About ORBIC's Rare Species Data

INR's ORBIC maintains Oregon's most comprehensive database of rare, threatened and endangered species. This database includes site-specific information on the occurrences, biology, and status of over 2,000 species throughout Oregon. It includes the state's only database of natural vegetation, with descriptions and information on the occurrences and protected locations of all known ecosystem types. As part of the Natural Heritage Network overseen by Natureserve, ORBIC is able to share this data internationally.

ORBIC uses a spatial database called Biotics, the standard for NatureServe partners, that provides information to guide implementation of the Natural Heritage Plan, including the selection of natural areas for registration and dedication. It is also contracted to provide natural heritage and sensitive species information to state and federal agencies, and is accessed daily by public land managers, private developers, researchers and educators.


Electronic systems contain

  • More than 32,500 records of locations of over 1200 species of rare and endangered plants and animals (element occurrences). To see which species we track, check out the Rare Species Lists section of our website.
  • Status of over 900 vertebrate, 1300 invertebrate, 1400 vascular plant, 160 non-vascular plant, 60 alga, and 320 fungus taxa, as well as over 500 plant community types
  • Detailed descriptions of over 820 vertebrate, 50 invertebrate and 300 plant taxa, with ecoregional, county, and EMAP hexagon distributions for vertebrates


Potential questions our data can answer

  • What rare species are known to occur in a given area (county, watershed, legal description, physiographic province, etc.)?
  • Where are the known rare species occurrences located within or near my project?
  • What is its federal and state status?
  • What is the habitat for the rare species that I am interested in?
  • Where are all the known locations in Oregon for a given rare species?

If you are looking for other spatial data, INR provides public access to reliable and up-to-date spatial data that is not maintained by the State of Oregon's GEOHub (previously the Oregon Spatial Data Library). 

You can find other data resources on the Institute for Natural Resource's Data page.

Making a Rare Species Location Data Request 

Requests for precise rare species location data must be made in writing via email ([email protected]) or regular mail (see contact information below). The following information must be included:

  • Your contact information: name, business/organization name, mailing address, voice and fax telephone numbers, and e-mail address.
  • Type of data needed (PDF report only, or addition of spatial data and which format of spatial data you would like).
  • Locality information for your project. This could be a street address, coordinates, or legal description (i.e. Township-Range-Section), or a spatial layer (shapefile, geodatabase, or Google Earth file) of your area of interest for larger projects. You may also include a map of the project if you like.
  • Project or site name and explanation of how the information will be used.


Time Frame for Response

Data requests are processed in the order in which they are received. The response time is approximately 10 working days, although large or complex data requests may take longer. We may be able to process requests sooner if requested.


What is Included

A typical data request will result in a PDF database report of rare, threatened, and endangered species within two miles of the area of interest. All state or federally listed species are included, as well as any ORBIC List 1 or List 2 species, covering vertebrates, invertebrates, vascular and nonvascular plants, fungi, and marine algae. General locational information (TRS, centroid) is provided as a field in the report. Any population data or habitat information about the occurrence is also included.

View an example of a record. PDF icon datareportexample.pdf

Spatial data is not included in a typical data request, but is available as an additional service. If you are interested in acquiring spatial data in addition to the PDF printout, please make this clear in your request. Typically this adds about $40 to the total fee for the request due to the additional staff time needed to create the spatial export. A total fee estimate can be provided upon request.

If you request spatial data, please specify if you would like a shapefile or geodatabase file (provided in ArcGIS 10 format) or Google Earth file (KMZ).

View an example screenshot of the shapefile output available as an add-on service.PDF icon orbic-coverage-example.pdf



Fees are charged to cover the cost of providing data services. Exceptions can be made for academic research or agencies partnering with INR on projects. The minimum charge is $85.00. Charges are based on the rate of $115.00 per hour of staff time required, plus a $0.60 per record fee, and a $60.00 computer access fee. A fee estimate can be given prior to initiating a search. An invoice will be delivered with the product, and payment terms are Net 30.

We are able to accept checks or money orders as forms of payment. Electronic Funds Transfers to PSU can be set up for payments; please ask for details. Credit card payments can be arranged in advance if required for an additional fee.


Annual Subscriptions

If you have large-area projects or anticipate needing several data requests throughout the year, we have an annual data subscription available. Full-state coverage is provided for an annual subscription fee of $6000. Partial-state coverage can be negotiated for a reduced fee.


Contact Information

To make a data request by e-mail, please send the required information to our data request e-mail: [email protected]

Our mailing address is:

Oregon Biodiversity Information Center
Institute for Natural Resources / INR
Portland State University
P.O. Box 751
Portland, OR 97207-0751

Please include the / INR on mailings as this is our campus mail code and is necessary for delivery of our mail from the general campus mailbox.

Data Limitations and Concerns

These data are dependent on the research and observations of many scientists and institutions, and reflects our current state of knowledge. Many areas have never been thoroughly surveyed, however, and the absence of data in any particular geographic area does not necessarily mean that species of concern are not present. These data should not be regarded as a substitute for on-site surveys required for environmental assessments.

ORBIC data contains sensitive information and access to the dataset is subject to our data use agreement

The ORBIC rare species dataset is not for public distribution or publication, in whole or part. This dataset is exempt from the Oregon Public Records Law (ORS 192.410 to 192.505) under ORS 192.501. Further detail can be found in ORS 192.345 Public records conditionally exempt from disclosure. The following public records are exempt from disclosure under ORS 192.311 to 192.478 unless the public interest requires disclosure in the particular instance: …. (13) Information developed pursuant to ORS 496.004, 496.172 and 498.026 or ORS 496.192 and 564.100, regarding the habitat, location or population of any threatened species or endangered species.

Data Submissions

Data Submissions

We are constantly striving to improve our data sets and to incorporate all information available on rare, threatened and endangered species of Oregon. We incorporate survey information from a variety of sources including state and federal agencies, non-profit conservation groups, independent contractors, and private organizations.

If you have information on any of these species (see our Rare Species of Oregon page for the most recent list) and would like to submit a sighting report, you can use our animal form or plant form, or contact us (see contact information below). If you have existing photos with a GPS location to upload or would like to map locations online, you can add observations to our iNaturalist Rare Species of Oregon project.

We also accept digital datasets (databases, spreadsheets, GIS files, etc). If you notice any errors or have any questions regarding the Rare Species of Oregon book or this web site, please contact us.

Data Contacts

Gabriel Campbell (for plant information)
[email protected] 

Eleanor Gaines (for animal information) 
[email protected] or by phone at 503-725-9952

General questions or comments[email protected].

Oregon Biodiversity Information Center
Institute for Natural Resources / INR
Portland State University 
P.O. Box 751 
Portland, OR 97207-0751
Phone: 503-725-9950



The Institute for Natural Resources (INR) uses, processes, and maintains several types of GIS data, including: data for which INR is the official data steward; project specific databases; and local copies of other regional and local data.

INR maintains Oregon's most comprehensive database of rare, threatened and endangered species through its Oregon Biodiversity Information Center (ORBIC). This database includes site-specific information on the occurrences, biology, and status of over 2,000 species throughout Oregon. It includes the state's only database of natural vegetation, with descriptions and information on the occurrences and protected locations of all known ecosystem types. As part of the Natural Heritage Network overseen by Natureserve, ORBIC is able to share this data internationally.


INR Data Stewards

Oregon Explorer Imagery and Data Collections

Oregon Imagery Viewing and Extraction Tool. The Oregon Imagery Explorer Image Viewing and Extraction tool enables users to view, compare, stream, and download National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) orthoimagery from multiple years since 1995, as well as available Pictometry and Lidar elevation products.

Oregon Spatial Data Library. The Oregon Spatial Data Library provides public access to reliable and up-to-date spatial data. Currently, hundreds of spatial datasets are accessible including all of the statewide framework data available for Oregon. These datasets serve as base data or a variety of Geographic Information System (GIS) applications that support research, business and public services in Oregon and surrounding areas. In early 2024, the Spatial Data Library will be retired. INR will continue to provide public access to reliable and up-to-date spatial data that is not maintained by the State of Oregon's GEOHub (previously the Oregon Spatial Data Library). 


Oregon Biodiversity Information Center Datasets

Biotics Biodiversity Database. Statewide database for rare species statuses as well as known current and historical sites. Updated continually. Contact ORBIC to request data. Digital data sharing restricted as per user agreements.

Rare, Threatened and Endangered Species of Oregon lists. Updated every 2-3 years.

Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Species rank documentation. Updated as needed.

Point Observation Database (PODS). Spatial observation database for non-RTE invertebrate and vertebrate species. Updated biannually.

Natural Areas Plan. Updated every 5 years, including the register of natural heritage areas.

Oregon Ecological Systems Database and Map (download). Updated every 5-10 years. Shows natural vegetation types and landcover for Oregon. Data is part of the USGS Gap Analysis Program, and maps developed extend to northern California, southern Idaho and Eastern Washington. Information on methodology and technical reports can be found at the LEMMA project site.

Classification of Native Vegetation of Oregon (2019). PDF and Excel list of native plant associations of Oregon.

Oregon iMapInvasives. Updated continually. Data sharing restricted as per user agreements.

Oregon Stewardship Geodatabase. Catalogs and attributes all managed areas in Oregon, including federal, state, county, and private protected areas and easements.

Oregon PAD-US. Updated every 4-5 years, or on an as-needed basis. A protected areas database for Oregon, developed to USGS standards, based on the Oregon Stewardship geodatabase.

Various local and regional vegetation classifications and keys, project reports, species assessments, etc. Reports posted to the INR Publications page, OSU Scholars Archive, or PSU Scholars Archive.

Questions about ORBIC data and data requests can be directed to [email protected]


Project-specific Data and Databases

INR has numerous project-specific databases that include primary data collection (such as from National Park Service projects) and processed data. Data can be processed numerous ways including: 1) modeled and imputed data, 2) standard GIS and image processing techniques, and 3) database processing. Highlights of recent project-project specific data and databases include:

Sage-Grouse Conservation Partnership (SageCon) Data

SageCon Data. Sage-Grouse Conservation Partnership (SageCon) was convened by the Oregon Governor's Office, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 2013 to proactively address USFWS’ 2015 Sage-Grouse listing decision in 2015. By addressing key threats to sagebrush habitat, SageCon has been working collaboratively with ranching and farming communities in central and eastern Oregon, as well as emerging industries such as mining and renewable energy, to ensure species protection for sage-grouse protection. The goal for the collaborative effort was to develop an “all lands, all threats” plan for sage-grouse conservation in Oregon. Data used for the plan are publicly available.

National Park Service Assessment Projects Datasets

NPS North Coast and Cascades Network. INR has completed or is in the process of completing several vegetation mapping, inventory, and classification projects for the National Park Service (NPS). These datasets are published through the NPS North Coast and Cascades Network website upon final acceptance and publication of the reports and associated data.

INR Modeled and Imputed Data

Integrated Landscape Assessment Project (ILAP) Data, Models, and AnalysesAccess ILAP Data, Maps, Models, and Analyses. Vegetation estimated and structure modeling using models such as random forest, canonical correlation and other imputation methods; or species models using similar tools and data. Examples of this include:

  • Potential Natural Vegetation (PNV) of Oregon and Washington

  • Oregon/Washington arid land vegetation composition and structure

  • Vegetation Dynamics and Treatment (VDDT) models

  • ILAP VDDT modeling results and crosswalks from modules

  • VDDT modeling strata2 grids and other strata grids to link to model output

  • Arizona/New Mexico Potential Natural Vegetation (PNV)

  • Arizona/New Mexico vegetation composition and structure – Forest, Arid and Woodlands

  • Endangered species probability of occurrence models for Oregon species. Completed taxa include 8 plants from the coast range, Willamette Valley and Klamath Falls and Fender’s blue butterfly

Willamette Water 2100 Project. Simulations of water supply and demand under various climate and population growth scenarios developed with couple human and natural systems model.  Developed as part of a National Science Foundation project focused on water scarcity.


GIS and Image Processing

Data can be processed using standard GIS operations and image processing techniques. There are numerous raster based datasets that are used to evaluate land use and cover. These raster databases typically represent one point in time and are from aerial photography or from Thematic Mapper imagery. These have been used (in conjunction with other data) to map current vegetation in the Portland metropolitan area through image classification, etc. Details of these data are provided in next section.

Database Processing

Numerous GIS database have complex data designs that require database management and modeling to build geographic databases. INR staff utilizes database management systems including Oracle, SQL/Sever and Access to programmatically build specific databases. One example includes soils, which have variable depths and numerous attributes. Specific database programs have been used at INR to build depth dependent data sets. For instance, for input into global climatic models, we developed programs to build databases for the 3 separate soils profiles (top 50 cm, 50 to 200 cm, and below 200 cm) for primary attributes including (see Appendix A for complete list):

  • Available water capacity
  • Percent sand

These programs have been modified to build output that provide depth integrated (one number representing the entire profile) for other soils characteristics such as natural drainage, etc. In addition, there are numerous GIS databases which are temporal in nature and continuously changing. These event based datasets typically maintain a base GIS coverage with linkage to on-line data systems.

Event-based Data

INR uses numerous data sources that identify the specific location in time and numerous attributes associated with the event. Examples of this include many point/sample locations where on-going data collection is occurring. These databases require specialized database programming and mapping techniques. This includes common and updated linkages to online time series data collection activities, specifically including:

  • USGS NWIS Daily Value Data (Discharge; Daily Averaged Real Time Data) — The USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) provides access to millions of sites measuring streamflow, groundwater levels, and water quality.
  • EPA STORET(STOrage and RETrieval) — STORET is a repository for water quality, biological, and physical data and is used by state environmental agencies, EPA and other federal agencies, universities, private citizens, and many others.
  • USDA-NRCS SNOTEL — NRCS operates a systems to collect snowpack and related climatic data in the Western United States and Alaska. For more information see:
  • ORNL DAYMET Meteorological Model — Daymet is a model that generates daily surfaces of temperature, precipitation, humidity, and radiation over large regions of complex terrain. Daymet was developed at the University of Montana, Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group (NTSG) at, to fulfill the need for fine resolution, daily meteorological and climatological data necessary for plant growth model inputs.
  • NOAA-NCDC/NWS ASOS (Automated Surface Observing System) — The ASOS program is a joint effort of the National Weather Service (NWS), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Department of Defense (DOD). The ASOS systems serve as the nation's primary surface weather observing network. ASOS is designed to support weather forecast activities and aviation operations and, at the same time, support the needs of the meteorological, hydrological, and climatological research communities.
  • NASA MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) — MODIS is a key instrument aboard the Terra (EOS AM) and Aqua (EOS PM) satellites. Terra's orbit is timed so that it passes from north to south across the equator in the morning, while Aqua passes south to north over the equator in the afternoon. Terra MODIS and Aqua MODIS are viewing the entire Earth's surface every 1 to 2 days, acquiring data in 36 spectral bands, or groups of wavelengths.
  • NCEP NAM (North American Mesoscale) 12K — Data from the NCEP North American Mesoscale (NAM) Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model.
  • Oregon DEQ Facility Profiler – Information (with a geographic view) on regulated or permitted facilities including air and water dischargers, hazardous and solid waste sites, cleanup sites, and leaking and underground storage tanks (LUST/UST).
  • Oregon DEQ Water Quality data - Ambient Water Quality Monitoring System is the Oregon DEQ water monitoring data portal.  AWQMS replaces the LASAR system which has been retired.  This new system allows for easier access to DEQ and partner data for rivers and streams, lakes, estuaries, beaches and groundwater resources throughout Oregon. INR has worked with DEQ and EPA to post Lab and Biodiversity data on the EPA Exchange Network (
  • Oregon WRD real time data – Near Real time hydrologic data by Oregon Water Resources Department.
  • Oregon Water Availability estimates - Estimated streamflow and surface water availability in Oregon. Water availability is the amount of water that can be appropriated from a given point on a given stream for new out-of-stream consumptive uses. 
  • Oregon Groundwater Level - Water-level plots for OWRD observation wells. Includes wells in the state observation well net (generally measured quarterly by regional or district office staff) and other observation wells that were established for various ground water projects.
  • Oregon Water Rights - pertaining to water right applications, permits, certificates, transfers, leases and related information.


Local Copies of Regional and Local Data

There are numerous sources of digital data that are digitally available and INR staff maintains copies of these databases (in project-specific formats) for use in analyses. These include:

  • Climate and Related Data: Climate data collection points and attribute tables (i.e. temperature, precipitation, SNOWTEL, etc.). Processed raster data from interpolated data such as PRISM, etc.
  • Ecology and Related Data: Land Cover and Land Use Data, habitat data, stream attributes for species, wetlands, aquatic habitat surveys, benthic and other aquatic samples, sensitive species locations, fish barriers, etc.
  • Hydrology and Related Data: Streams (with linkage to attribution), Digital Elevation Models and derivatives, soil parameters, floodplains (DFIRM/Q3), geology, water quality sampling points (Lasar/Storet/others) and attributes, gage stations and attributes, point source locations, points of water diversion, place of application of waters, watershed delineations/boundary, spring locations, lakes, etc.
  • Economics/Sociology and Related Data: Population data, zoning/panning data, survey data, cadastral, Urban Growth Boundaries, Census, etc.
  • Miscellaneous Data: including publications, presentations, minutes from meetings, photos, etc.


Standard GIS libraries

Standard GIS libraries data is available from numerous portal, web services and data libraries such as the Oregon State GIS Data library at Oregon Department of Administration and online tools such as the Oregon Imagery Explorer, the National GIS Portal, and other online libraries. Other online services include:

Spatial Data

Spatial Data

The Institute for Natural Resources (INR) provides public access to reliable and up-to-date spatial data that is not maintained by the State of Oregon's GEOHub (previously the Oregon Spatial Data Library). INR and GEOHub datasets serve as base data for a variety of Geographic Information System (GIS) applications that support research, business, and public services in Oregon and surrounding areas.


Ecological Systems



Oregon Wetlands Cover - 2019 (download)

Oregon Wetlands Cover - 2009 (download)

Oregon's Greatest Wetlands - 2015 (download)



Oregon Stewardship Database - updated 2023

Oregon Threat-based Ecostate Map - 2022 (download)

Western Juniper - 2017 (download)

Oregon and Washington Potential Vegetation Type - 2012 (download)