HabITS Help Center Contents
Table of Contents minLevel 2
This document is meant to be used as general guidance for using the HabITS application. It provides a general introduction to the HabITS application in the first section with a focus on application access, navigation, and the data which may be found under separate modules within the application.
In order to access the HabITS application a user must first have an account with ECOS.
Login to Secure ECOS at https://ecos.fws.gov and supply the users AD credentials. If the user has never established an account they will be asked to setup their profile at this time. If they already have an ECOS account access the PROFILE page (under My Account) and verify their current profile. If the user has switched stations recently it may not be accurate and they will need to submit a help desk ticket to have ECOS change their profile.
HabITS is a robust database with quite a bit of data both historic and present. There are many times that the programs work with other entities collaboratively. The success of the Partners and Coastal Programs relies upon voluntary partnerships founded in trust. As such, we cannot over emphasize the importance of protecting the privacy of our partners. To the extent possible, any reports run or shared must have any landowner names and other sensitive information of private citizens and organizations removed. Spatial data must be accompanied by a Data Sharing Agreement (Link to example agreement to be uploaded soon).
Release Notes (link also found at the top of the HabITS Dashboard)
Advanced Mapper (5.11 Released )
New Report Interface (5.11 Released )
New Report Platform (5.11 Released )
Focus Area Module (5.11 Released )
Strategic Planning Module (5.12 Released)
Analysis Mapper (5.13 Released)
HabITS V5 Map Editor and Creating Accomplishment Geometries Time Stamp Document - This shows the times stamps in the recorded webinar where certain tasks occurred.
See the Release Notes. The link can also be found at the top of the HabITS Dashboard shown below.
Recorded HabITS Training #1 - New Biologists Webinar given by Sherri Mosley - May 10, 2022
Intro Training 1st Offering Training Webinar Time Stamps Document - This shows the time stamps in the recorded webinar where certain tasks occurred.
Recorded HabITS Training 2nd Offering - New Biologists Webinar given by Sherri Mosley - May 13, 2022
Intro Training 2nd Offering Training Webinar Time Stamps Document - This shows the time stamps in the recorded webinar where certain tasks occurred.
Recorded New Project Workflow; Species and Financials Webinar given by Sherri Mosley - June 2, 2022
Project Workflow Training Webinar Time Stamps Document - This shows the time stamps in the recorded webinar where certain tasks occurred.
Recorded Running Reports Webinar given by Sherri Mosley - June 16, 2022
Running Reports Training Webinar Time Stamps Document - This shows the time stamps in the recorded webinar where certain tasks occurred.
These videos are older versions but still a good place to start if you have never really worked in HabITS V5. They will familiarize you with the new V5.
Recorded HabITS Training #1 - New Biologists Webinar given by Sherri Mosley - May 27, 2021
New Biologist Training Webinar Time Stamps Document - This shows the time stamps in the recorded webinar where certain tasks occurred.
Recorded New Project Workflow; Species and Financials Webinar given by Sherri Mosley - June 15, 2021
Recorded Mappers; Editor and Analysis Webinar given by Sherri Mosley - June 22, 2021
Recorded Running Reports Webinar given by Sherri Mosley - June 29, 2021
Recorded HabITS 101, New Biologist Training Webinar given by Sherri Mosley - May 29, 2019
Recorded HabITS Secretary Orders Webinar given by Sherri Mosley - June 5, 2019
Recorded HabITS Creating Multipolygon Accomplishments Webinar given by Sherri Mosley - June 19, 2019
Recorded HabITS Running Reports Webinar given by Sherri Mosley - June 19, 2019
Recorded HabITS New Functionality Webinar given by Sherri Mosley - July 10, 2019
Recorded HabITS V5 Map Editor and Creating Accomplishment Geometries Webinar given by Sherri Mosley - August 17, 2018
Recorded HabITS V5 Reports Training Webinar given by Sherri Mosley - HabITS V5 Reports, running and
searching - August 23, 2017
Recorded Recorded HabITS V5 Strategic Planning Activities Module Training Webinar given given by Sherri Mosley - HabITS V5 SPA, searching and creating strategic plan activities, tracking targets - August 14, 2017 2017
HabITS Strategic Planning Activities Power Point Presentation given by Sherri Mosley - August 14, 2017.
Recorded HabITS V5 Refresher Training Webinar given by Sherri Mosley - HabITS V5 refresher, advanced map editing and creating strategic plan activities - August 2, 2017 2017
HabITS Refresher Webinar Time Stamps Document - This shows the time stamps in the recorded webinar where certain tasks occurred.
Recorded New Biologist Training Webinar given by Sherri Mosley - HabITS V5 overview, creating accomplishments and strategic plan activities - July 26, 2017
New Biologist Training Webinar Time Stamps Document - This shows the time stamps in the recorded webinar where certain tasks occurred.
R4 CP Training Presentation given CP Training Presentation given by Bret Beasley - HabITS V5 update and training presentation - May 2017These videos are older versions but still a good place to start if you have never really worked in HabITS V5. They will familiarize you with the new V5.
Webinar given by Eric Rank - Basic work flow demonstration in the new HabITS V5 - July 2015
More detailed definitions and domain values can be found by clicking the icon within the HabITS V5 application. Tool tips can be found anywhere a user would input data. Anytime there are multiple choices for an entry the user can go to a domain value table for definitions on the possible selections.
1. After logging into the Environmental Conservation Online System (ECOS) click HabITS 5 Dashboard to access HabITS.
2. The first page you will see is the HabITS V5 Dashboard, here you will see a list of your office’s Recent Mechanism, Projects, and Accomplishments. These lists can also be sorted. From this page you can also Search for a Mechanism, Search for a Project, or Search for an Accomplishment.
3. Hover your mouse pointer over the Habitat Improvement tab to see the options available in the Habitat Improvement Module. Under the Feature Search category you can Search for a Mechanism, Search for a Project, Search for an Accomplishment, Search for a Focus Area, or File Search. You can also Create New Mechanism and Create a New Focus Area.
4. Hover your mouse pointer over the Reports tab, here you can choose to run a Basic Report or an Advanced Filtering Report.
6. If you need further help click the Help tab, this will link you to the main HabITS Confluence Page where you can find many resources on how to use HabITS V5.
Search for a Mechanism
Search for a Project
Search for an Accomplishment
Search a Focus Area
Search for a Strategic Plan Activity
1. Start from the HabITS Dashboard and click the Habitat Improvement module, then click Create a New Mechanism under Mechanisms.
2. Start by clicking the Planning? check box, this will allow you to start entering your information and save the Mechanism as a draft. Continue by entering a Mechanism Name, Type, Agreement Number, Parent Mechanism (if applicable), Lead Office, etc. After entering all of your information click the save button at the bottom of your screen. **After you have entered all required data and the Mechanism Geometry has been created you will need to uncheck the Planning? check box, if you do not, all Projects and Accomplishments nested under the Mechanism will be in planning mode.**
3. After clicking Save you should see a green splash banner (for just a second or two) saying your Mechanism was saved successfully. After saving you will see a message in the upper right of your screen “This Mechanism does not have a geometry”, this will be the next step in the tutorial, click +Create Mechanism Geometry now.
4. After clicking +Create Mechanism Geometry you will be taken to the HabITS mapper. From here you can choose to draw or upload your mechanisms geometry. For this tutorial we will be uploading a shapefile that has already been created using ArcMap. Click upload now. For more information on how to create and package shapefiles to be uploaded into HabITS click How-To Create and Package Spatial Data in ArcGIS for Uploading in HabITS V5 (Not available yet)
5. After clicking Upload a file explorer window will open allowing you to search for an choose your shapefile. Once you select your shapefile click Open.
6. After opening your shapefile in the HabITS mapper you should see your Mechanism polygon.
7. Click on the polygon and you will see a small box that says +Activate. Click it in order to make the polygon active in the Mapper.
8. After clicking +Activate your polygon should turn blue and you should be able to see the vertices within the polygon. Now click on the green Return to Mechanism Form button in the upper left of the screen.
9. After returning to the Mechanism Form you should see your geometry in the small mapper window in the upper right of your screen. You must hit the Save button in order to save the geometry to the Mechanism, after saving you should see the green splash screen (for a couple of seconds) saying your Mechanism has been saved successfully. After saving, move on to entering information in the Non-FWS Partners and Files if applicable.
10. After clicking the Non-FWS Partners tab then proceed by clicking the Partner Search dropdown box. Type the name of the Partner to search, after searching, select the Partner by clicking on it.
11. After clicking the Partner you would like to select, click Select Partner to add them. Repeat the previous steps to add multiple partners.
12. After adding your Partners you can now choose to select their rolls in the Mechanism. You must click the save button in order to fully add the Partners to the Mechanism. After saving you will see the green splash screen (for a couple of seconds) saying your Mechanism has been saved successfully. Next click the Files tab to the right of the Non-FWS Partners tab.
13. After clicking the Files tab proceed by clicking the +Add File button.
14. From this page you can add any files related to the Mechanism.
15. Proceed by entering the Title, Document Type, Author, and Abstract. Then click Choose File, a file explorer window will open allowing you to select the file you would like to upload, select file and click open then click the Save button. **You must remove Publically Identifiable Information (PII) from ANY file you add to HabITS**
16. After saving you should see the file you added in a list. Repeat the previous steps to add more files. Now that all applicable information has been entered in to the Mechanism, uncheck the Planning? check box to save the final version (you can still edit if needed).
17. Now that a Mechanism has been created you can move on to adding a Project to the Mechanism.
Creating a multipolygon accomplishment becomes important when work is being done on the same property, same accomplishment and habitat type with the same treatments. For example: You are working on a project for a landowner and you are going to enhance 5 wetlands. All 5 wetlands have exactly the same treatment. This would be a multipolygon accomplishment with 5 polygons.
Currently there are 5 scenarios you may encounter when needing to create a multipolygon accomplishment.
1) By far the easiest option; you already have a shapefile with all the polygons created
2) You have multiply shapefiles each with one polygon
3) You are creating a brand new accomplishment and digitizing all the polygons in the HabITS V5 Map Editor
4) You already have an accomplishment created and you need to add more polygons
5) By far the most difficult option; you have already input multiple accomplishments and need to combine them into one multipolygon accomplishment
Creating a Focus Area
Program Goals and Minimum Metrics
GOAL 1 - Conserve Habitat
*Habitat Improvement: Entered in HabITS
Writing AWESOME HabITS Narratives
Why do we even need to write a narrative?
What NOT to include:
Elements of AWESOME Narratives
Be concise and try to use a narrative tone. It’s important to put the correct information in the correct spot so that in the future we can pull the information out in relevant reports. If the same information is cut and pasted to each type of narrative, then it can potentially be a lot of information for the reader to wade through and it makes setting up automated reports more difficult. For example, if in the future we just want a report with all of the description of our project partnerships in a given fiscal year for a specific region, State, field office or POC, we could easily pull the mechanism narratives.
Mechanism narratives should describe the roles of your partnership, highlight responsibilities of your partnership, provide some context to the rationale/importance of the partnership, and briefly describe the partner.
Example Mechanism Narrative w/NGO:
This MOU is with the Big Watershed Land Conservancy (BWLC) which works with partners in the 5,000 acre Big Watershed to restore habitat and protect land by acquiring, holding, and enforcing easements. We have worked with the BLWC since 2012 to protect and restore habitat for the small shiny fish, a federally endangered species endemic only to this watershed. The BLWC is important to the success of our work in this watershed because they have the capacity to do landowner outreach, they leverage money for restoration projects, and provide assistance to landowners interested in placing an easement on their lands. BWLC also secured a NFWF grant for restoration and protection work that will be used to cost share on this project. Our role in this partnership is to provide matching program funding, as well as project design and implementation assistance.
Example Mechanism Narrative w/ Landowner:
This Landowner Agreement is for 10 years on the landowner’s 70 acre property in Suffolk County in the Little Grass Watershed. The landowner is working with NRCS on a WRP easement and wanted us to assist on planning and implementing a restoration project to benefit waterfowl on his property. We are also providing cost share for this project with the landowner covering 50% project cost for the waterfowl restoration portion.
Project narratives should describe the project in general, its importance, the biological benefits, and the initiatives it addresses. Additionally, project narratives:
Example Project Narrative
This project consisted of establishing a 5 acre warm-season grass and forb prairie with firebreaks by converting a previously cropped fallow sand ridge. Site preparation consisted of one glyphosate herbicide application prior to planting. The site was planted by no-till warm-season grass drill in the spring of 2013. The species that were planted include little bluestem, side-oats grama, Indian grass and Canada wild rye plus 10 forbs. (Species list in project file.) The conversion of the site to warm-season grasses and forbs will provide nesting habitat for migratory song birds such as eastern meadowlarks and dickcissels.
The Partners biologist assessed the site, developed the restoration plan, reviewed the seed mix species, and oversaw completion of the project. The PFW program also purchased the seed. The project site is adjacent to a Big Polygon State Fish & Wildlife Area and a local community college which will be using this area as a living classroom. Interpretive signs will be installed and students will have the opportunity to assist in monitoring projects. This supports the Department’s America’s Great Outdoors’ Youth Initiative. The project is also in the Awesome Habitat Focus Area which as the highest diversity of grassland songbirds and rare plants in the Big Polygon State.
When the Project involves different performance habitat types (wetland, upland, in-stream, shoreline, etc), different types of treatments, or is multiyear, it may be necessary to include accomplishments narratives to describe the details of the specific accomplishment, especially if each accomplishment addresses different species, different service priorities, different economic/community/youth benefits, etc.
Example Accomplishment Narrative #1
This accomplishment involved the restoration of a wetland at the Awesome Landowner Project Site. The Coastal Program Biologist designed the restoration project, secured the regulatory permits, and oversaw the application of glyphosate to treat invasive species and the removal of excess woody vegetation to help control water and shade levels which will directly benefit Bog Turtles which are a federally listed species in this northern population. The Local Boy Scout Troops provided much needed man power to hand remove woody vegetation in the winter while the wetland was frozen to prevent soil disturbance.
Example Accomplishment Narrative #2
Adjacent to the wetland restoration at the Awesome Landowner Project Site, the Coastal Program also installed 20 acres of native warm season grassland to benefit grassland song birds including Grasshopper Sparrows and Dickcissels. The project biologist designed the plan for the grassland including choosing the native seed mix and the density, and then supervised the site preparation and planting of the seeds. A local University professor will be using the area as a research site for his field course “Cool Birds you see from far away with binoculars.” This supports the Department’s America’s Great Outdoors’ Youth Initiative.
GOAL 1 - Conserve Habitat
-Habitat Improvement: Entered in HabITS
-Technical Assistance: Entered as a Strategic Planning Activity, calculated from those activities.
GOAL 2 - Broaden & Strengthen Partnerships
*-Annual Partnerships: Derived from HabITS entries
*-Annual Private Landowner Agreements: Derived from HabITS entries
*-Percent Leveraged for Projects: Derived from HabITS entries
*-Number of Other Activities to Strengthen Partnerships: Entered Entered as a Strategic Planning Activity, calculated from those activities.
GOAL 3 - Improve Info Sharing & Communications
*-Activities that Connect Youth to Nature: Entered Entered as a Strategic Planning Activity, calculated from those activities.
*-Congressional Outreach Activities: Entered Entered as a Strategic Planning Activity, calculated from those activities.
*-Number of Other Staff Hours spent on Communications Activities: Entered Entered as a Strategic Planning Activity, calculated from those activities.
GOAL 4 - Enhance our Workforce
*-Annual Number of Staff Hours spent on Professional Development or Training: Entered Entered as a Strategic Planning Activity, calculated from those activities.
*-Number of Other Staff Hours spent on Enhancing the Workforce: Entered Entered as a Strategic Planning Activity, calculated from those activities.
GOAL 5 - Increase Accountability
*-100% of Projects have Completed Level 1 Monitoring: Implementation & Compliance: Derived from the Monitoring Tab at the Project Level
*-Number of Other Staff Hours spent on Accountability: Entered as a Strategic Planning Activity, calculated from those activities.
*-Produce or Publish an Annual Accomplishment Report: Entered Entered as a Strategic Planning Activity, calculated from those activities.
Strategic Plan Activities
Creating a Strategic Plan Activity
Strategic Plan Targeting
How-To Create and Package Spatial Data in ArcGIS for Uploading in HabITS V5
PFW/CP Staff Point of Contact Information Link:
Directory of all PFW/CP staff
Financial Assistance (FA) Guidance Links:
FY2017 End of Year QA/QC Documents:
End of the Year Calendar
FY17 Partners and Coastal Accomplishment Reporting Memo
FY17 HabITS QA/QC Guidelines and Instructions
FY17 Washington Office
QA/QC “Flagged” Error Lists
FY17 PTrac Process: Directions for PFW & CP Regional Program Entries
FY17 Business Rules and Guidance – Annual Target Setting and Reporting
FY17 Director’s Memo with Attached PTrac Timeline