The New Mexico Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (NM CHAT) is a web-based map tool with spatial information on the conservation of animals, plants, and their habitats across New Mexico. It is designed to aid landscape-level planning and is intended for industry, natural resources managers, conservation practitioners, and the public to identify priority habitat (See Data for details.). The CHAT website is a collaboration between New Mexico Dept. of Game & Fish and Natural Heritage New Mexico, Museum of Southwestern Biology at the University of New Mexico.
This broad-based, collaborative effort was initiated by the Western Governors' Association. The NM CHAT is now part of a West-wide effort by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies to map crucial habitat across 16 states. has resulted in a West-wide crucial habitat data layer derived from mutually agreed-upon input datasets. The West-wide CHAT definitions and datasets help support compatibility and consistency across state boundaries to support multi-state planning efforts (http://www.wafwachat.org/).
NM CHAT represents the best current scientific data available and the content is subject to ongoing change, modification, and refinement. The species data do not represent exhaustive inventories, but are compilations of knowledge from field biologists that are updated periodically as knowledge improves. In addition, habitat models and ecological maps are expected to be refined in future versions. It is important to note that habitats or species may occur on the ground in areas not currently known to biologists, or in areas for which comprehensive surveys have not been conducted.
If you have questions about NM CHAT please contact Matt Wunder, Division Chief, Ecological and Environmental Planning Division, at Matthew.Wunder(at)state.nm.us, (505) 476-8101, or Rayo McCollough, Information Manager, Natural Heritage New Mexico, Rayo(at)unm.edu, (505) 277-3822 xtn. 225.
The New Mexico Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (NM CHAT) provides landscape-scale, non-regulatory, conservation information to support project planning. It does not replace or supersede site-specific consultation with appropriate agencies, including the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. NM CHAT provides a visual exploration of wildlife data while preserving the confidentiality of sensitive information.
Support for this site was provided by the Western Governors’ Association Wildlife Council, Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and the Bureau of Land Management.
Data on species and habitats was provided by Playa Lakes Joint Venture, New Mexico Environment Department Surface Water Quality Bureau, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Museum of Southwestern Biology at the University of New Mexico.
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Natural Heritage New Mexico, Museum of Southwestern Biology, University of New Mexico