When a species is proposed for listing as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) must consider whether there are areas of habitat believed to be essential to the species' conservation. Those areas may be proposed for designation as critical habitat. ECOS collects the spatial representation of this information and uses it in the following ways:
FWS staff at the FO and RO level are asked to submit their proposed and final critical habitat shapefiles to ECOS for inclusion in the national report and mapper. ECOS staff has a 3-day turn around time to get the information ingested into the system, so please plan accordingly. NOTE: if ECOS receives a large amount of shapefiles to ingest at the same time (i.e. large designations or data call scenarios), the 3-day turn around time will not apply.
To submit one or more shapefiles to ECOS, please fill out our help desk form and attach up to 3 zip files that contain a metadata and shapefile. If more than 3 files need to be submitted, please generate multiple help desk tickets OR contact the help desk to notify them that you have a large amount to submit. All contents of the zipped files must comply with the data standard generated by the FWS Critical Habitat Task Group.