The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) is providing a new service for accessing the most current and complete threatened or endangered species and related environmental review spatial datasets. The Wildlife Environmental Review Map Service (WERMS) creates a means to distribute several individual feature classes through an Internet connection. By publishing WERMS, DWR can be sure partners have access to the latest and most comprehensive information for conservation planning and assessing potential impacts to wildlife and recreational resources.
DWR is responsible for managing and protecting state and federal threatened or endangered wildlife in Virginia. GIS data showing confirmed locations of these “listed” species and other important wildlife features are valuable tools for preventing impact to these treasured natural resources. Traditionally, this was done through DWR’s Virginia Fish and Wildlife Information Service (VAFWIS). Although VAFWIS continues to provide an excellent stand-alone query and reporting service, some users need access to the actual spatial information.
Besides species observation locations for listed and declining species, WERMS serves data displaying designated threatened and endangered species waters, trout streams, waterbird nesting colonies, and anadromous fish use areas. Recreational datasets are also provided. Data layers include: DWR boat access sites, DWR fish hatcheries, DWR wildlife management areas, and DWR managed lakes. WERMS is published as a feature map service, specifically for use in ESRI GIS clients (e.g., ArcMap). An advantage of the feature map service is the ability for end-users to alter map symbols, select and query features, and export the actual data into shapefiles or other feature classes. However, since the data are very dynamic, DWR requires subscribers to use the Internet map service directly or extract updates at regular intervals.
The overall advantage of WERMS to subscribers (users) is the ability to extract environmental review spatial data directly for their own use. The advantage to DWR is better data management and a new way to provide information to various partners. If you would like more information about WERMS, including how to subscribe to this service, please contact Jay Kapalczynski at: Jay.Kapalczynski@dwr.virginia.gov or (804) 367-6796. DWR would like to thank VDOT for their support in developing WERMS.
The most recent WERMS update was performed on 2/17/2018.