NWHI Maps and Publications

Welcome to the The Northwest Habitat Institute's Maps and Publications Page! The Institute has been involved with many natural resource projects in the Pacific Northwest.

As a trusted source for natural resource information in the region and guided by the Institute's mission, we strive to provide science-based informational tools to natural resource management staff and the public. Some of these tools and publications can be found below.

Salmonid Field Protocols Handbook

Salmonid Field Protocols Handbook

The Salmonid Field Protocols Handbook: Techniques for Assessing Status and Trends in Salmon and Trout Populations is now available

This is the first publication to collect, standardize, and recommend a scientifically rigorous set of field protocols for monitoring and assessing salmon and trout populations. Includes five additional techniques that can be used with any of the 13 principle methods to supplement information gathered.

Over four dozen fisheries experts throughout the U.S. Pacific Northwest and beyond contributed their time to pick, write, and review the most reliable protocols for enumerating salmonids in the field. Presented in an easy to use format, each of the 18 peer-reviewed protocols covers objectives, sample design, data handling, personnel and operational requirements, and field and office techniques, including survey forms.

Standardized monitoring protocols will improve data reliability, maximize opportunities for data sharing and data set comparability, and ultimately improve the ability to assess status and trends. The Handbook will also support consistency in data collection for salmonids at the international level.

Atlas of Oregon Wildlife

The Northwest Habitat Institute's mission statement includes the development and dissemination of data-rich and verifiable information, maps, and tools to promote and facilitate the conservation of our native species and habitats. As our Habitat Mapping Program addresses this goal by creating wildlife-habitat and vegetation maps, NHI's Data Modeling Program works toward this goal by creating extensive databases as well as tools for dissemenating and analyzing the collected data.

The databases created by NHI focus on Pacific Northwest fish and wildlife species, their habitats, and the interactions of these species and habitats. These data are collected and stored so that they can be spatially linked to the GIS (geographic information system) data created in our Habitat Mapping Program and combined with other spatial data sets for analysis and modeling. The following sections present a history of NHI's Data Modeling Program.

Atlas of Oregon Wildlife Book Cover NHI founders originally focused their data modeling efforts on Oregon. They assembled habitat and species data used in the first edition ot the Atlas of Oregon Wildlife: Distribution, Habitat, and Natural History which was a joint effort of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), Oregon State University (OSU), the Oregon Natural Heritage Program, and the National Biological Service (NBS). The Atlas was the first comprehensive guide to the current distribution, habitat, and natural history of most of Oregon's wildlife species, documenting this information for the 422 terrestrial vertebrate species that are native to and breed in the State. In addition, the Atlas provided a forum for producing and distributing a product that utilized the efforts and accomplishments of several projects including the Oregon Gap Project Vegetation Map and wildlife habitat associations identified through cluster analysis by investigators at ODFW, OSU, and NBS (O'Neil et al. 1995). The Northwest Habitat Institute also helped update the second edition of the atlas which was published in 2001. The Atlas of Oregon Wildlife is published by OSU Press and can be purchased at bookstores or directly from the distributor (1-800-426-3797). For more information about the atlas, please click here.


Wildlife Habitat Relationships Book

Wildlife-Habitat Relationships in Oregon and Washington Book

The Wildlife-Habitat Relationships in Oregon and Washington (WHROW) Book. NHI data collection and modeling efforts were subsequently expanded to include Washington as well as Oregon. Working cooperatively with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and with funding provided by 34 project partners, NHI created a wildlife-habitat database and maps for Oregon and Washington. The data base contains not only peer reviewed species and habitat attributes but information on the interactions of species with their habitats. This joint venture culminated in the publication of the Wildlife-Habitat Relationships in Oregon and Washington (Johnson, D. H. and T. A. O'Neil. OSU Press. 2001) book and CD-ROM. Wildlife-Habitat Relationships in Oregon and Washington CD-ROM This book is the first to compile and synthesize in a single convenient, comprehensive volume a vast amount of diverse information on 593 wildlife species and their relationships with the 32 terrestrial, freshwater, and marine habitat types of Oregon and Washington. It includes photographs of each habitat type, as well as hundreds of maps, diagrams, and other illustrations. The accompanying CD-ROM contains additional wildlife data and color maps, and seven matrixes that link wildlife species with their respective habitat types. For more information about this project, please visit the Wildlife-Habitat Relationships in Oregon and Washington Support section on our web site.

Since the completion of Wildlife-Habitat Relationships in Oregon and Washington, NHI has been working to expand that wildlife-habitat database to include all of the Columbia River Basin in the US and British Columbia and to develop an Internet application allowing free, dynamic queries of this and other data. This project has been named the Interactive Biodiversity Information System or IBIS. IBIS is an ongoing project that will allow a range of simple to dynamic, spatial and non-spatial, queries of NHI's wildlife-habitat database and GIS (geographic information system) data. Though the early stages of IBIS are limited to rather static query capabilities, eventually it will include a dynamic mapping application and query system allowing users to create habitat maps, species rangemaps, and a variety of statistics for any user-defined area in the Pacific Northwest. To find out more about the Interactive Biodiversity Information System, please visit the IBIS web site.

In addition to data collection and delivery, the Northwest Habitat Institute is committed to developing and applying new environmental data analysis techniques. NHI is currently focusing on the application of data mining and smart systems techniques to leverage new information from existing IBIS data.

Click the below link to access selected chapters from the WHROW book.

WHROW Chapter 1: Oregon and Washington Wildlife Species and Their Habitats.

WHROW Chapter 2: Wildlife Habitats: Descriptions, Status, Trends, and System Dynamics.

WHROW Chapter 3: Structural Conditions and Habitat Elements of Oregon and Washington.

WHROW Chapter 6: Key Ecological Functions of Wildlife Species.

WHROW Chapter 20: Terrestrial and Marine Management Activities: Links to Habitat Elements and Ecological Processes.

WHROW Chapter 24: Decaying Wood in Pacific Northwest Forests: Concepts and Tools for Habitat Management.

WHROW Chapter 24: Updated tables.


Errata Update!

Errors with Table 1 in Chapter 2 (page 23) and Table 1 in Chapter 5 (page 165) of the Wildlife Habitat Relationships in Oregon and Washington book were found in March 2009. The wildlife habitat type acreages for Washington were incorrectly printed in the book. The corrected tables in Adobe .pdf format can be downloaded using the following links.

Correction! - Chapter 2, Table 1. The 32 wildlife habitats and their total acreage in Oregon and Washington.

Correction! - Chapter 5, Table 1. The total acreage of wildlife habitat types that occur and are under conservation-oriented protection strategies in Oregon and Washington

pdf Adobe Acrobat required.


An internet browser compatibility issue has been detected with the WHR CD. This occurs when users purchase the Wildlife Habitat Relationships book and try to use the companion CD. When the CD is inserted into the drive and the autorun function is initiated an error screen warning users of the requirement for Microsoft's Internet Explorer 5 or newer. A simple workaround is shown in the steps below. Sorry for any inconvenience. Any questions should be directed to Cory Langhoff at cory@nwhi.org.

1- Put the WHR CD into your computer’s CD drive and cancel the web browser that opens automatically with the compatibility error.

2- Navigate via My Computer to that CD drive letter that contains the WHR CD and right click on it and chose to open or explore folder.

3- Navigate to the WHR_CD folder on the disk and you will see an INDEX.HTM file located there. If this file type is not already associated with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, right click this file and chose “open with” , then choose Internet Explorer as the application to handle this request.

4- The CD will now open and you can choose the Browse CD option on the title page. Good to go!

Wetland Wildlife Guide

A Guide to Oregon and Washington's Wetland Wildlife and their Habitats

The Northwest Habitat Institute is developing a full-color Wetland Wildlife guide for middle school students. In the guide you will find:

Descriptions of four wetland habitat types and their common plants and soils;

Connections between climate, plants, soils, and wetland habitats; and

Profiles of over 90 species commonly occuring in wetland habitats, including:

Color photos

Predator/prey relationships

Ecosystem functions performed by each species

Descriptions of size and identifying features

Range maps

Highlights for Oregon and Washington Conservation Strategy Focal Species


This book is being given away free to schools and school districts through charitable donations. The printing and distribution of the book is supported by The Fred Meyer Foundation, Oregon and Washington Fish and Wildlife Departments and Oregon and Washington Chapters of The Wildlife Society. This book would be excellent for environmental education and appropriate age levels are classes from middle to high school.

Please contact Tom O'Neil, Director, if you are interested in supporting this creative and exciting educational endeavor! habitat@nwhi.org



Forest Wildlife Guide

OFRITwo publications have recently come out to which NHI staff have made substantial contributions, they are: The Wildlife Society's Techniques for Wildlife Investigations and Management -Chapter 15: Application of Spatial Technologies in Wildlife Biology and the Oregon Forest Resources Institute's A Guide to Oregon's Forest Wildlife.The Oregon Department of Transportation Statewide Mitagation Banking Program has won The Environmental Excellence Award for Environmental Streamlining given by the Federal Highway Administration in Washington D.C. in April 2005. This award recognizes the unique approach to repairing highway bridges trhoughout the state while addressing environmental issues. Our habitat value approach was a key part of this process.


PNW Habitat Classification Systems Database


square The Pacific Northwest Habitat Classification Systems (PHaCS) Database is now available!

Updated! The PHaCS database has now been updated with a crosswalk between the IBIS classification system and the Bonneville Power Administration Integrated Status and Effectiveness Monitoring Program

Habitat classification systems differ greatly throughout the PNW depending on agency, organization, or monitoring group, often complicating data-sharing and collaboration.

Have you ever wondered...

  • arrow Is your definition of an “herbaceous wetland” the same as someone else’s?
  • arrow What exactly is measured when “riffles” are reported in a stream inventory?
  • arrow Do different groups define "large woody debris" the same way?
  • arrow What is a "riparian-wetland" and is it the same as a "forested wetland"?
The PHaCS database can help you answer these and other questions about habitat classification and the systems used in the PNW region.

The Northwest Habitat Institute has endeavored to compile different habitat classification systems into a single database and cross-walk these to a common system. This project, funded by the Northwest Environmental Data Network (NED) and the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII), is intended to improve communication between groups that may use different habitat classification systems. 

This database tool provides:

  • bullet Systems Information: A list of each habitat classification system in PHaCS, including the name, type (Terrestrial, Aquatic, Wetland, or Marine), an initial list of who is using it, a brief description, citation, and website, if available.
  • bullet System Categories: A list of all categories associated with each system; definitions are included if available.
  • bullet Complementary Systems: A list of other systems that complement, or are similar to, the system you choose.
  • bullet IBIS Habitat Types, Structural Conditions, and Key Environmental Correlates: The Interactive Habitat and Biodiversity Information System (IBIS) was used as a "common system" to which each classification system was cross-walked. PHaCS includes names and definitions of all IBIS categories.
  • bullet System Cross-walks: Cross-walks from each system to the appropriate IBIS Habitat Type, Structural Condition, or Key Environmental Correlate. These cross-walks can also be used to compare between systems.

This PHaCS tool can be downloaded and used by the public free-of-charge.
Please note: PHaCS is still in draft form; the Northwest Habitat Institute is looking for any feedback users could provide regarding its use and design. We are also interested in incorporating additional habitat classification systems into the tool. To send feedback or information on additional systems, please contact Thomas O'Neil at habitat@nwhi.org.


Vegetation Management Software




square VEMA Vegetation Manager Program is now available bundled with VEMA Mobile!

VEMA is a Microsoft Access relational database that helps record, calculate and report vegetation performance based on user determined performance thresholds. The database was largely designed around a vegetation monitoring protocol developed by a team of agency and academic plant ecologists and expert practitioners to provide both an efficient tool for monitoring, and to increase our knowledge base on the effectiveness of different restoration treatments. The database allows users to document and record vegetation data at reference sites for the purposes of helping develop vegetation mitigation and restoration plans and subsequent vegetation performance criteria and thresholds.

VEMA testing has to date been primarily in Oregon's Willamette Valley. But this should not mean that you cannot use VEMA to record, calculate, and report vegetation performance in other areas. VEMA will provide vegetation performance reports for any site where vegetation data is collected as percent cover and/or woody stem counts. If you are working in an area that the existing VEMA plant list does not cover, as many new plants can be added to the list as you like. While VEMA includes a predefined set of vegetation performance criteria, it allows the user to set the vegetation performance thresholds. We have attempted to make VEMA flexible enough to allow use over a broad geographical range and to conform to a variety of vegetation monitoring challenges.

Now, with Mobile VEMA, the data collection protocol is all handled on a Mobile PDA. Mobile VEMA was developed to compliment Desktop VEMA by allowing users to capture vegetation data in the field electronically and to capture the GPS coordinates (Decimal Degrees) where the data is collected. The field data recorded in Mobile VEMA can then be transferred to Desktop VEMA using a USB enabled cradle for the GPS or PDA device, ActiveSync, and a the embedded Vegetation Table Manager. Automated field data collection helps eliminate many data entry errors because information is collected and entered into database only once.

VEMA was built with Microsoft Access 2003. It is important to understand that VEMA is not a stand-alone software product but rather a customization of the Access software provided by Microsoft. Because of this you must have your own copy of Microsoft Access software to open and use VEMA. For the highest compatibility, we recommend you use the 2003 version or later.



Printed Maps

Oregon or Washington Current and Historical Maps

Map These wildlife-habitat maps are shaded-relief maps with county boundaries, and major city names added for reference. Consisting of 32 habitat types, the classification system used for these maps is the same used in the book and CD-ROM, Wildlife-Habitat Relationships in Oregon and Washington. Washington Historical Wildlife-Habitat Types Map Therefore, the Oregon and Washington maps make excellent companions to the book and CD-ROM. A Current (1999) and a Historical (circa 1850) version of each map are available in two different sizes.

NHI has not been able to have these maps professionally printed, like the Oregon Vegetation map below, due to the high set-up cost of offset printing. NHI prints these maps at the time of request using high-quality glossy papers in large-format inkjet plotters and printers. Therefore, continued exposure to air and sunlight without proper framing could cause the inks to fade over time (though we have not seen this yet).


US Columbia River Basin Current Wildlife-Habitat Types Map


The large versions of the Oregon and Washington maps are approximately 25" high x 36" wide. The large US Columbia River Basin Wildlife-Habitat Types maps measure approximately 27" high x 36" wide. The smaller versions of all maps are printed on 13" high x 19" wide glossy paper. The cost of these maps are $25 per small map and $50 per large map (includes shipping within USA).


US and Canada Columbia River Basin Current Wildlife-Habitat Types Map


A Canada-US Columbia River Basin Current Wildlife-Habitat map is also now (July 2001) available from the Northwest Habitat Institute! The result of a multi-partner, international mapping effort, this map adds wildlife-habitat types for the Canadian portion of the Columbia River Basin to the US portion mapped by NHI. The map is currently available only in a high-gloss large, 38" high x 36" wide, version at a 1:1,500,000 scale. The cost of this map is $70 per map (includes shipping within USA).


Oregon Vegetation: Landscape-Level Cover Types map


The Oregon Vegetation: Landscape-Level Cover Types map is now available from NHI. The map completes a four-year effort to characterize Oregon vegetation. Satellite images collected from 1991 to 1993 form the basis for map analysis and interpretation.Enlarged Samples of Oregon Vegetation: Landscape-Level Cover Types map Numerous specific vegetation types that exist throughout Oregon have been combined to create the 62 cover types illustrated on the map. The cover type vegetation groups correspond to the level of vegetation analysis used by biologists to describe wildlife habitats.

This professionally printed map is approximately 27.5" x 24". The main map is a 1:1,000,000 scale shaded-relief map with county boundaries, major rivers, and major city names added for reference. The lower portion of the map depicts the same vegetation data and relief shading in a perspective view creating a 3-D effect. Please click here or on the image for enlarged samples of the map.

The cost of the Oregon Vegetation: Landscape-Level Cover Types mapis $20 per map (shipping included within USA).


Order Form

To order, please send a completed order form along with a check or money order for the amount of the purchase to:

Northwest Habitat Institute
Product Sales
P.O. Box 855
Corvallis, OR 97339

We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are currently not able to accept credit cards. Checks or money-orders should be made payable to the Northwest Habitat Institute. Your order will be shipped upon receipt.

Click here to download Order Form