Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation (BISON) - North American species occurrence data & maps Explore & download North American species occurrence data & maps

Fact Sheet
USGS BISON Fact Sheet
Poster
USGS BISON Poster

USGS Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation (BISON) is a unique, web-based Federal mapping resource for species occurrence data in the United States and its Territories and Canada, including marine Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs).

BISON Contributions to GBIF

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) hosts and administers the U.S. Node (GBIF-USA) of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), with the Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation (BISON) project as one contribution to the Node's biodiversity informatics network. BISON provides a specialized publicly-accessible view of GBIF records for the U.S., U.S. Territories, Canada, and U.S. and Canadian marine Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), and assists with mobilization of U.S., U.S. Territorial, and Canadian species occurrence records to GBIF via the BISON instance of the GBIF Integrated Publishing Toolkit (IPT). The BISON instance of the GBIF IPT also provides public access to detailed metadata records for each dataset that has been made available through BISON by the BISON Data Team and its partners. BISON has a unique niche in the GBIF community by focusing on U.S. Government collections, invasive species data, and pollinator data for inclusion into GBIF.

Please send any comments, questions, errors or bugs encountered to bison@usgs.gov


Data Licensing and Value Added Fields

Data provided through Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation (BISON) can be freely downloaded by users, however, restrictions for its use may vary with different data owners and is described at the record level upon download.

Data licensing is according to Creative Commons, and may commonly be: CC0 1.0 Universal, CC-BY 4.0 International, or CC-BY-NC 4.0 NonCommercial International. It is the responsibility of you, the user, to understand and obey the data licensing for all data you obtain from the BISON website.

The data is owned by the entity described in the OrganizationCode field and has been modified by BISON to provide some additional information, such as ITISscientificName, ITIScommonName, ITIStsn, validAcceptedITIStsn, computedCountyFips, calculatedCounty, calculatedState, mrgid, calculated_waterbody, and/or (if centroid=YES), decimalLatitude, decimalLongitude.

Note:
Maritime Boundaries (EEZ) geospatial data obtained from Marine Regions is licensed under the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 NonCommercial ShareAlike International license. The vertices of this geospatial data have been simplified to match the scale of other data used in the BISON application.


Data Use Agreement

Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation (BISON) is committed to providing free and open access to primary species occurrence data. Data currently available through BISON are contributed by various U.S. Federal and State agencies, universities, and non-profit organizations, either directly to BISON or indirectly through their participation in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). GBIF Participants who have signed the GBIF Memorandum of Understanding have expressed their willingness to make biodiversity data available through their nodes to foster scientific research development internationally and to support the public use of these data. GBIF data sharing should take place within a framework of due attribution. Therefore, using data available through BISON requires agreement with the BISON Data Use Agreement that is displayed prior to a data download.

How to cite data retrieved from BISON:

[Data Provider or Owner name]. [Resource or dataset name] published by [Data Provider name, address affiliation(s)] (Accessed through Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation (BISON), https://bison.usgs.gov, YYYY-MM-DD)

For example:
Field Museum of Natural History. U.S. Bird Occurrences published by Field Museum of Natural History, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of Washington Burke Museum, and University of Turku (Accessed through Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation (BISON), https://bison.usgs.gov, 2007-02-22)

Or

Gordon, J. U.S. Bird Occurrences published by Field Museum of Natural History, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of Washington Burke Museum, and University of Turku (Accessed through Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation (BISON), https://bison.usgs.gov, 2007-02-22)

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Updated: May 17, 2021