Polygon shapefile that depicts the piping plover critical habitat units on its wintering grounds. This file does not contain those units that were vacated in North Carolina (2004) or in Texas (2006). The Texas areas have been re-designated (2009) and are in a separate file. The units were created by generalizing or bounding the buffered mapped critical habitat shoreline in an attempt to capture the dynamics of these systems to the recovery date of 2020. Mapped critical habitat shoreline was created by "on-screen"/ "heads-up" digitizing based on 1992-1998 Black & White or Color InfraRed Digital Orthophoto Quarter Quads at 1, 3, or 6 meter resolution. Note: The GIS file and the associated coordinates are not the definitive source for determining the critical habitat boundaries for wintering piping plover. As noted in the final rule, the textual unit descriptions constitute the legal source for determining the critical habitat boundaries. The areas included within the boundaries of the GIS file do not follow the legal boundaries of the critical habitat designation. See USE CONSTRAINTS for further information.
Final determination of critical habitat on the wintering grounds for the Great Lakes and Northern Great Plains populations of piping plover under court order (Civil No. 1:96-CV02695AER, Civil No. 1:97-CV00777AER).
Piping plovers (Charadrius melodus) are federally listed shorebirds breeding along the north Alantic Coast, the Northern Great Plains, and the Great Lakes regions. The Great Lakes population is federally listed as endangered, while the Atlantic and Northern Great Plains populations are listed as threatened. Piping plovers are considered threatened on their wintering grounds. In the United States these populations winter along the Atlantic Ocean from North Carolina south, along the Gulf coast to Texas, and the Carribean. Piping plovers spend the majority of the year on the wintering grounds. Due to the difficulty of seperating out the populations of piping plover (Great Lakes, Northern Great Plains, and Atlantic) when on their wintering grounds, critical habitat was designated for all wintering piping plover. Critical habitat are areas considered essential for the conservation of a listed species. These areas provide notice to the public and land managers the importance of these areas to the conservation of this species. It does not afford any special protection or restriction other than where federal funding, permits, licenses, authorizations, or actions occur or are required.
The 'S_STATUS' attribute field should be used to show listing status of each polygon. The legal boundaries are verbally described in the Federal Register. The GIS file, map products and the associated coordinates are not the definitive source for determining the critical habitat boundaries for wintering piping plover. As noted in the final rule, the textual unit descriptions constitute the legal source for determining the critical habitat boundaries. The areas included within the boundaries of the GIS file do not follow the legal boundaries of the critical habitat designation for the following reasons: 1) the waterward boundary of Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) has not been incorporated into the GIS file because a definitive source for the MLLW line across the entire wintering range was unavailable, therefore, the areas defined by the GIS file are known to extend out into areas of open water that are not utilized by the piping plover and are not designated as critical habitat, and 2) the landward boundary where densely vegetated habitat, not used by the piping plover, begins and where constituent elements do not occur were not digitized and, therefore, areas included within the GIS file may extend landward into areas not designated as critical habitat. Users of the GIS file are cautioned to refer to the final textual unit descriptions provided in the final rule as the definitive source in determining critical habitat areas. Additionally, interested parties are encouraged to contact the Service for a definitive finding of whether a location is within critical habitat (See Technical/Consultative Contacts:). This geospatial dataset is the final critical habitat units layer for wintering piping plovers. These data are to be used only in the context of the definition and purpose of critical habitat. This primarily relates to Section 7 consultation under the Endangered Species Act. These data may be used for planning and land management purposes. They are not to be used for legal survey use.
P.O. Box 1306
The attributes were verified by displaying them both tabularly and graphically. Unit numbers were checked for accuracy. Measurement attributes were not formally checked for accuracy.
These data are logically consistent. The data was checked for label errors, dangling arcs, node errors, incorrect attribution in Arc/Info and/or ArcView.
The data represents sites with constituent elements used by piping plover in the wintering grounds. Mapped sites were based on information provided by state and federal biologists, Christmas Bird counts, and the 1991 and 1996 International Piping Plover surveys. Omissions may be possible due to the extent of coverage and difficulty of surveying all coastal areas.
Horizontal accuracy was not tested; however, data was created by digiziting on screen using 1 meter Digital Orthophoto Quarter Quads at a 1:5000 view scale. Therefore, it is assumed that the accuracy is within National Map Accuracy Standards of 10m at the 95% C.I. for horizontal accuracy.
The Medium Resolution Shoreline was used as a guide in determining the shoreline for which mapping of units were conducted.
The DOQQs source data set provided the imagery in which shoreline was mapped for piping plover wintering sites which was the basis for the creation of the units. The photography was also used to review the unit boundaries and make suggested edits.
Shapefiles were imported into ESRI ArcGIS personal geodatabase
Featureclass attributes were modified for consistencey with other USFWS Region 2 digital critical habitats.
Individual feature attibutes were updated as needed to reflect changes in the status of the individual units and the overal designation.
This data set was created using Arc/Info 7.1.2 and ArcView3.1 or ArcView3.2a on a Sun ULTRA2 workstation or Windows desktop pc's. The following processing steps were used to create the critical habitat unit boundaries in ArcView and Arc/Info software: 1). The mapped critical habitat shoreline shapefile or coverage was buffered by the buffering distance (calculated by the sum of: the erosion or accretion rate * years from present to the recovery date + erosion or accretion rate * the number of years from present to the date of the photography + doqq error). 2). The newly created buffer polygons were either generalized or bounded by doing on-screen digitizing. 3). Line defining land and water was digitized by hand or by inputting into the layer. 4). Attributes were added to the layer by either manual entry or by populating from a source file.
The data was downloaded from: http://criticalhabitat.fws.gov/crithab/ It was clipped to the offshore boundary, including the areas off the coast of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
217 Fort Johnson Rd.
Internal feature number.
Year of designation
Species common name
Rivers, creeks, lakes or springs included in critical habitat designation
Complex/Reach identified in critical habitat designation or assigned by FWS staff
Unit of complex/reach identified in critical habitat designation or assigned by FWS staff
Abbreviated spatial description based on Federal Register description
Status of individual segments within designation
Status of designation
Segment length in Miles
Segment length in Kilometers
Area of feature in internal units squared.
States included in critical habitat designation
Counties included in critical habitat designation
Any other information regarding the designation or a particular segment
Length of feature in internal units.
Label to use when converting to KML.
P.O. Box 1306
These data were created in reponse to court orders (Civil No. 1:96-CV02695AER, Civil No. 1:97-CV00777AER) to designate critical habitat for listed populations of piping plover on their wintering grounds. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) shall not be held liable for improper or incorrect use of the data described and/or contained herein. These data are not to be redistributed to anyone. These data shall be obtained directly from the appropriate USFWS (see Section 6.1 Distributor) office or official USFWS internet web page, when available. This disclaimer applies both to individual use of the data and aggregated use with other data.
1601 Balboa Ave.