Section 7: Species/Critical Habitat Information & Maps in the Greater Atlantic Region
Federal action agencies can use our species information and maps to determine which species are present in their action area.
Access the ESA Section 7 Mapper
Within the Section 7 Mapper, we have included data layers that represent our best estimate of the spatial and temporal range of listed species' life stages, behaviors, and critical habitat in our Region. Use of this App does NOT replace the section 7 consultation process. We are providing the Section 7 Mapper as a technical assistance tool and expect action agencies will use it as a first step in determining if a proposed Federal action overlaps with listed species or critical habitat.
Access the User Guide for the Section 7 Mapper (PDF, 24 pages)
For GIS users: to download the most up-to-date data informing the App, visit GIS Data Downloads.
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Note: Due to their rare occurrence mainly offshore within the Greater Atlantic Region, the giant manta ray is not included in our Species Tables or Section 7 Mapper. When considering whether to include an analysis of manta rays in your consultation request, please see the giant manta ray information below and also the Southeast Region’s Consultation Framework (PDF, 17 pages).
These species presence tables are intended to aid federal action agencies during their ESA section 7 consultation responsibilities within the GARFO region (e.g., Maine to North Carolina) and with their determination regarding whether activities authorized, funded, or carried out by a federal agency overlap with our listed species. These tables can assist the federal action agencies, as well as applicants and the general public, with an easy to navigate representation of the current, best available information of presence of listed species based on geographic factors, time of year, behavior, and life stage.
These tables do NOT replace the section 7 consultation process, but help determine if listed species may be located in an area that may be affected by proposed federal actions. Even if the table indicates a species is not present in or near the vicinity of the proposed federal action, the federal action agency must still consider the nature of the proposed activity to determine if consultation is needed (i.e., do indirect effects from the proposed project extend into areas where species are likely to be present?). In cases where the species are not present and the action is extremely unlikely to extend into an area of species presence, the federal action agency may conclude the consultation process with a No Effect determination. In that case, no further consultation with NOAA Fisheries is necessary.
See No Effect Determination Guidance
For widely ranging species such as whales, sea turtles, and sturgeon, the tables summarize the current, best available information on the presence of these listed species in the GARFO region offshore, nearshore, and in rivers from Hamilton Inlet, Labrador, Canada to Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA. Rivers not included in the tables are those for which no targeted sampling has occurred or no other information on the use of the river is available. The Gulf of Maine Distinct Population Segment of Atlantic salmon is located in solely in the Gulf of Maine as described in the tables. The glossary page is intended to clarify certain terms used in the Species Presence Tables.
When referencing these tables for your environmental documentation or request for concurrence, please indicate the date the page was accessed in your citation.
- Atlantic Large Whales
- Sea Turtles
- Atlantic Salmon Gulf of Maine DPS
- Atlantic Sturgeon
- Shortnose Sturgeon
- Giant Manta Ray
- Citations and References for All Species
- Glossary of Terms Used
Species and Critical Habitat Maps
For GIS users: To download the most up-to-date data, visit GIS Data Download.
For a quick look at a regional scale, these resources may be helpful:
- North Atlantic Right Whale Critical Habitat
- Loggerhead Turtle Critical Habitat
- Atlantic Sturgeon Critical Habitat
- Atlantic Salmon Gulf of Maine DPS
- Atlantic Salmon Critical Habitat
Atlantic Sturgeon Critical Habitat
- Critical Habitat Designation for Atlantic Sturgeon
- Guidance on Atlantic Sturgeon Critical Habitat (PDF, 51 pages)
- Critical Habitat Analysis Framework for Action Agencies (PDF, 5 pages)