Integrated Wildlife Habitat Ranking System (IWHRS)
The Integrated Wildlife Habitat Ranking System (IWHRS) is a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tool that ranks the Florida landscape based upon the habitat needs of wildlife as a way to identify ecologically significant lands in the state and to assess the potential impacts of land development projects. The IWHRS incorporates a wide variety of land cover and wildlife species data and presents it in an easy-to-understand classification scheme. The IWHRS is provided as part of the FWC's continuing technical assistance to various local, regional, state, and federal agencies and to entities interested in wildlife needs and conservation in order to (1) determine ways to avoid or minimize project impacts by evaluating alternative placements, alignments, and transportation corridors during early planning stages; (2) assess direct, secondary, and cumulative effects on habitat and wildlife resources; and (3) identify appropriate parcels for public land acquisition for wetland and upland habitat mitigation purposes.
The IWHRS was developed in 2001 and was revised in 2007 and 2008 using new and updated datasets. The updated data in the IWHRS 2009 include Roadless Habitat Patch Size, Listed Species Locations, Species Richness, Managed Lands, Distance to Managed Lands, Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI) Habitat Conservation Priorities, and Florida Forever Board of Trustees/Save Our Rivers Lands. These updates maintain the IWHRS 2009 as a relevant natural resource tool for responding to the rapid pace of land-use change occurring across the Florida landscape.
Contact us with comments or questions regarding the IWHRS project.