Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Biodiversity Tool

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Biodiversity Indicator Tool

Landscape Biodiversity Map with Legend

Intact, connected habitats are critical for the long-term survival of native biodiversity (plants, animals, and their habitats). To aid in biodiversity conservation, New York State Parks created a Biodiversity Indicator Tool (BIT). This GIS-based tool indicates areas throughout the state with potentially high biodiversity, including common and rare species and their habitats.

This conservation planning tool can help inform decisions related to land conservation, land-use planning, and biodiversity protection, and can be useful for state agencies, land trusts, municipalities, and others. The tool can help to identify opportunities for open space protection statewide and for maintaining habitat connectivity between protected lands and natural areas across the landscape. While there are many criteria used for open space acquisition and other land protection measures, the Biodiversity Indicator Tool can be utilized to incorporate biodiversity into the decision making process. The BIT was developed using a scientifically-based methodology, and provides a credible basis for site comparisons when planning for open space conservation.


The Biodiversity Indicator Tool (BIT) is intended solely to be used as a conservation planning tool that assists in evaluating the potential biodiversity significance of lands and waters in New York. The BIT is an informational tool that was not designed to fulfill environmental review requirements established under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), or any other state, federal, or local environmental or land use review requirements.

Information accessed from the BIT does not establish or effect legal rights or obligations, nor is it a final determination of the legal status of, or protections afforded to, various lands and waters in New York. Use of the BIT does not create any rights enforceable by any party in litigation with the State of New York or the New York Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation ("OPRHP").

The State of New York, OPRHP, or their officers, employees or contractors make no representations or warranties, express or implied, with respect to the use of or reliance on the data provided herewith, regardless of its format or means of transmission. There are no guarantees or representations to the user as to the accuracy, currency, completeness, suitability or reliability of this data for any purpose. The user accepts the data “as is” and assumes all risks associated with its use. OPRHP assumes no responsibility for actual, consequential, incidental, special or exemplary damages resulting from caused by or associated with, any user's reliance on or use of this data, even if appraised of the likelihood of such damages occurring. This disclaimer applies both to individual use of BIT information and aggregate use with other data.

Copyright Notice

The Biodiversity Indicator Tool was created by OPRHP and is protected by copyright. OPRHP claims copyright and therefore reserves the right to reproduce, distribute, or display the material, in addition to authorizing others to do so.

Individuals are granted permission to view or print information from the Biodiversity Indicator Tool for personal use and under fair use rights. For commercial uses, including print publications, publication on other websites or in other formats or media, permission is required; Contact the Biodiversity Team at for permission to use or reproduce the Biodiversity Indicator Tool.

If you do use this website the Biodiversity Indicator Tool as a source in your work, please use this citation:

© New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Accessed [date] at

NYS OPRHP, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207.

Download the Biodiversity Indicator Tool

To download the GIS data for the Biodiversity Indicator Tool, please visit the NYS GIS Clearinghouse.