Updates Related to COVID-19 »

Wildlife Information Services

Data Quality Control and Updates

Wildlife Information Services (WIS) staff specialize in managing and maintaining the data that feed into applications used to manage and make recommendations about our wildlife and the habitat they use. All internal and external data used in any DWR database must be vetted to ensure accuracy and reliability. These data inform species observation databases that are accessed in VAFWIS. Up-to-date species names and status (such as Threatened & Endangered) are maintained.

Data Sharing

Most DWR species data are available to the public. A data disclaimer and release agreement must first be filled out, submitted, and approved prior to sharing of ANY DWR species data, including data from our centrally maintained species observations database and biologist collected data. Download the agreement below and email the completed agreement to karen.horodysky@dwr.virginia.gov if you wish to request species data collected and/or maintained by DWR.

Permit Report User Support

All Scientific Collection and Threatened & Endangered Species permit holders must submit a report at the end of the collection year using the online reporting tool. Contact susan.watson@dwr.virginia.gov with any questions about how to use this tool.

Data Management

Data management is an important pillar of science-based management. WIS staff work to support our DWR biologists’ data management needs by (1) ensuring biologists can access their data through currently supported DWR databases and (2) working as a liaison between biologists and DWR Information Management Services staff to develop better data management tools and applications. Current projects include developing web-based centralized databases for survey data entry, query, and analysis. WIS staff also collaborate with other organizations (e.g., Organization of Fish and Wildlife Information Managers) on data management techniques and best practices.

WIS staff work to obtain wildlife data from outside sources (e.g., partner organizations, citizen science) to include in our databases. Data are vetted directly and indirectly from sources such as the Virginia Herpetological Society, the American Fisheries Society, the Virginia Society of Ornithology, and Virginia Master Naturalists. In the future, we will vet and upload data from the Virginia Wildlife Mapping project found on iNaturalist.org.

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