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NATURAL HERITAGE NEW MEXICO is a division of the Museum of Southwestern Biology at the University of New Mexico.
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Information Management: What We Do
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The New Mexico Natural Heritage Program (NHNM) collects data on the biology, status and location of the state's biological resources. In association with partners, we accumulate, maintain and provide data on a wide variety of biological elements in New Mexico. In this sense, we act as a clearinghouse for information on New Mexico's biological resources and provide assistance to our partners in making these data available to the public or available for management or conservation purposes.

NHNM also maintains a current inventory of the plants and animals in New Mexico and their most current taxonomy. Furthermore, we keep track of any legal or informal status applied to them with respect to rarity or conservation priority by both governmental and non-governmental agencies.

We also maintain our own ranking system for the state's plants, animals and communities with respect to their rarity in New Mexico. While these ranks have no legal status, management agencies and others use Heritage ranks to trigger changes in legal status and to determine where to direct resources for further study or conservation efforts. Management and permitting agencies may also direct consultants to gather information or take into account impact on elements for which the Heritage Program has given higher ranks.

In association with the Association for Biological Information, we influence similar rarity ranks for these elements at the National and Global scale.

The NHNM maintains a tracking list of about 600 Threatened, Endangered and Sensitive (TES) animal and plant species of particular concern or sensitivity in New Mexico. Our tracking list includes vertebrate and invertebrates, and vascular and non-vascular plants (we are currently in the process of determining a tracking list for TES communities). For elements on our tracking list, we actively seek out all information concerning their occurrences (roughly equal to populations) in New Mexico and the status or quality of those occurrences. Information on these TES elements come from a variety of sources including our own field surveys, published and unpublished reports, museum collections, data sets from non-profit organizations and agencies, and the scientific literature.

Information about the biology or status of biological resources and/or TES elements in New Mexico is normally provided by NHNM free of charge. There may be a nominal fee to cover the cost of processing the request and/or for providing a particular output format. Information about the locations of plants and species at the level of state, county, watershed, or ecoregion is also provided free and is available from our Free Info Search Page. For more precise information about the location or distribution of TES elements submit an information request.


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