CNDDB News Blog

  • June 7, 2022

Screenshot of BIOS 6 application

If you are a CNDDB subscriber, you are likely very familiar with BIOS 5 as the quickest online access to CNDDB data, as well as other datasets in the CDFW BIOS collection. We are happy to announce the release of BIOS 6. This next version of the CDFW BIOS viewer is built on the latest Esri ArcGIS JavaScript API and will eventually replace the current BIOS 5 viewer.

During the transition, both viewers will be available for a short time. We encourage you to start using the new viewer for your work now to familiarize yourself with content before the old viewer is no longer available. Most major functionalities are preserved from BIOS 5 to 6. You will be able to move your selections between BIOS 6 and RareFind. In RareFind, the BIOS tab will have a radio button in which you can choose to open BIOS 5 or BIOS 6.

We have provided a full user guide (PDF) for you, as well as a condensed version of basic functions to help you get started (PDF). If you have questions and comments about BIOS 6, you can submit them to

Categories: General
  • June 3, 2022

Long-time CNDDB users know that the CNDDB is California’s Natural Heritage program, part of an international network of similar programs across the US and Canada called NatureServe. For nearly 50 years, NatureServe has been the authoritative source for biodiversity data throughout the Western Hemisphere. Collectively, NatureServe works closely with the 60+ network programs to aggregate, analyze, and deliver biodiversity information, providing comprehensive spatial data to meet regulatory and conservation needs.

Over the past year, NatureServe CEO and President, Sean O’Brien, has been journeying across the US and Canada as part of the NatureServe Van Tour to visit the various NatureServe network programs. The purpose of the tour is to learn about how the network programs and NatureServe can collaboratively achieve shared goals and ultimately achieve great outcomes for species and habitat conservation.

In April, the NatureServe Van Tour arrived at California. The CNDDB joined staff from other CDFW programs and The Nature Conservancy to provide a tour for Sean of Cosumnes River Ecological Preserve. We even made the news!

Several people linking arms to hug a large oak tree.
Photo credit: Katie Ferguson, CDFW
It took 5 people to completely hug this beautiful valley oak named “The Mother Tree” at Cosumnes River Ecological Preserve.

Categories: Partner Spotlight
  • May 9, 2022

A camera trap photo of a Sierra Nevada red fox walking left.
Sierra Nevada red fox near brush and rocks at night on the Stanislaus National Forest.
Photograph by US Forest Service (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The CNDDB has updated our species concept for Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes vulpes necator). Instead of one species record for Sierra Nevada red fox, CNDDB has split Sierra Nevada red fox into two species concepts representing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ two Distinct Population Segments (DPS) with different Federal legal status:

Common Name Scientific Name State Status Federal Status
Sierra Nevada red fox
southern Cascades DPS
Vulpes vulpes necator pop.1 Threatened None
Sierra Nevada red fox
Sierra Nevada DPS
Vulpes vulpes necator pop.2 Threatened Endangered

The Sierra Nevada red fox is a native montane red fox and one of California’s rarest mammals. The subspecies was originally described in 1900 based on a collection from the Big Whitney Meadow area of Inyo National Forest in 1891, hence “Sierra Nevada” red fox, but is known to range from the southern Sierra Nevada to Mount Hood in the Cascade Mountains of northern Oregon. In California, Sierra Nevada red foxes were historically known from the high Sierra Nevada Mountains from Sequoia National Forest to Tahoe National Forest, the Cascade Mountains near Mount Lassen, and into the eastern Klamath Mountains. The current consensus is that there is a small extant population near Lassen Volcanic National Park and a small population near Sonora Pass and Yosemite National Park. The State of California listed the Sierra Nevada red fox as Threatened under the California Endangered Species Act in 1980.

Recently the Sierra Nevada red fox was petitioned for listing under the Federal Endangered Species Act. In their assessment of native montane red foxes, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined there was two discrete Distinct Population Segments (DPS) of Sierra Nevada red fox: “a southern Cascade population in the Cascades Mountains of northern California and Oregon, and a Sierra Nevada population in the Sierra Nevada Mountains” (USFWS 2015, pages 61011-61013). Subsequently, the Service determined that listing of the southern Cascades DPS was not warranted, but that the Sierra Nevada DPS was Endangered (USFWS 2021).

To reflect the different legal status of the two populations in California, CNDDB has implemented the two population element concepts noted above. However, whereas the DPS determination is a recent evaluation of rather disjunct extant populations, CNDDB tracks historical records that are less clear in the delineation of the modern DPS concepts. To separate the historical Element Occurrences in the database, the Middle Fork Feather River to the town of Beckwourth and California Highway 70 east of that point was used as a dividing line between DPSs. Highway 70 is not meant to represent a real barrier to dispersal and does not carry any legal representation of the DPS split. This highway only serves as a convenient landmark delineating the two DPSs for data management purposes.

Map of the Sierra Nevada red fox Distinct Population Segments


Categories: General