About the Intact Habitat Cores Dataset

This data layer was created using data made public by ESRI’s Green Infrastructure Initiative. According to ESRI “This layer represents modeled Intact Habitat Cores, or minimally disturbed natural areas at least 100 acres in size and greater than 200 meters wide. Esri created these data following a methodology outlined by the Green Infrastructure Center Inc. These data were generated using 2011 National Land Cover Data. Cores were derived from all “natural” land cover classes and excluded all “developed” and “agricultural” classes including crop, hay and pasture lands. The resulting cores were tested for size and width requirements (at least 100 acres in size and greater than 200 meters wide) and then converted into unique polygons. This process resulted in the generation of over 550,000 cores. 

Cores were then overlaid with a diverse assortment of physiographic, biologic and hydrographic layers to populate each core with attributes (53 in total) related to the landscape characteristics found within. These data were also compiled to compute a “core quality index”, or score related to the perceived ecological value of each core, to provide users with additional insight related to the importance of each core when compared to all others. See this map image layer for a version that includes popups and ability to query the data. 

ESRI distributes the data here at the state level. However, we combined the data into a seamless national map and included a map of US Native Lands so it could be used by tribes for Natural Resources Planning .