GIS Data

Custom GIS Data Request

GIS shapefiles of Natural Heritage Element Occurrences are available for purchase at a cost of $100.00 per species or natural community, county, or 8-digit Hydrologic Unit.

Federal, state and local government agencies are exempt from fees, as well as nonprofit agencies who use the project review tool and/or Natural Heritage Element Occurrence data to establish nature preserves. All other individuals and organizations will be required to pay fees. The custom data request form is for fee-based users only. Fee-exempt users can download GIS data of element occurrences through their group page by clicking My Group -> Group Title -> Data Download.

To request GIS Data please create an account and log in (or log in to your existing account).  The request form is available from the Requests tab.  Select GIS Data from the dropdown menu and complete the form.  Please allow 5 business days for us to evaluate and complete your request.

Natural Heritage Element Occurrences (NHEO): Species of plants and animals, natural communities, and animal assemblages are referred to as "elements of natural diversity" or simply as "elements". The NC Natural Heritage program compiles data and maps observations of rare elements, exemplary or unique natural communities, and important animal assemblages (e.g., heronries and colonial waterbird nesting sites) in our Biotics database. Collectively, observations of these elements are referred to as "Element Occurrences" or simply "EOs".

  • Some of the species we track are subject to poaching or harassment. To protect these species from harm, shapefiles of these species may not be available for purchase.  This will be evaluated by NC NHP staff upon receipt of your request.
  • Records for the Blue Ridge Parkway will not be included in the shapefile. You must contact the Blue Ridge Parkway if you need information for this area.

While efforts have been made to ensure that these data are accurate and reliable, the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program cannot assume liability for any damages or misrepresentation caused by any inaccuracies in the data. Data should be field-verified before any decisions are made based on the records provided by NCNHP. If you have questions or comments, please contact us at