The 2020 Challenge for Scotland’s biodiversity made a commitment to produce a “comprehensive map of Scotland’s main habitats”. It maps habitats and major land uses using European Nature Information System (EUNIS) and Habitats Directive classifications.
It is a collection of data from different sources that can be used together because it has been re-classified to a common system.
Ben Vorlich and Loch Earn near Lochearnhead in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park - © Lorne Gill - Scottish Natural Heritage
The Habitat Map of Scotland (HabMoS) is a database that can map habitats and major land uses, using EUNIS (European Nature Information System) and Habitats directive Annex I habitat classifications. It is a collection of data from different sources that can be used together because it has been re-classified to a common system.
HabMoS uses data from site based surveys and national inventories. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has mapped coastal and some woodland habitats with a continuing programme to increase the amount and validity of data available. The Habitat Map also provides definitions of the main habitats in Scotland.
HabMoS contains data from a range of partners in the public, voluntary and private sectors; the work is being co-ordinated by Scottish Natural Heritage. More information is available on the Habitat Map of Scotland web page on the Scottish Natural Heritage website.
The Identity of original surveys is retained, so it is always clear where data has come from.
The HabMoS will be used widely by policy makers, planners and land managers as well as within the nature conservation community.
Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve, Wester Ross. August 2015 - © Lorne Gill - Scottish Natural Heritage
The Habitat Map is a crucial inventory. It will provide data for national and local planning and a base map for measuring change. For the first time, data is available that can tell us the extent and distribution of internationally important habitats using a common international classification.
HabMoS will be an important resource for Scotland’s Land Use Strategy, which is a key commitment of Section 57 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.
Gallanach, Isle of Coll - © Lorne Gill - Scottish Natural Heritage
The Habitat Map of Scotland data is available to view in the Map data tool
Insert thumbnail image of HabMoS – Scotland view – user clicks on image to go to map tool with pre-loaded HabMoS layers
The data is also available to download from the Scottish Natural Heritage data download page – natural spaces
HabMoS uses some data that is already available on Scotland’s environment website. For example the Forestry Commission's Native Woodland Survey of Scotland (NWSS). HabMoS has taken some of this data and combined it with other geographical datasets to map Annex I habitats. The EUNIS land cover map is a broad scale EUNIS map that provides a seamless coverage. As HabMoS develops it will replace the less detailed information in the EUNIS land cover map and the 2 datasets will be managed as one.
The data can be used to study and manage small areas, looked at in context of other data and to look at the national distribution of habitats and land uses.
There are a wide range of uses for HabMoS data, including:
Underpinning policy areas the Habitat Map will be
The Habitat Map will also support
Habitat Map of Scotland Project Board, chaired by Scottish Natural Heritage, contains representatives from the Scottish Government, SEPA, Forestry Commission and Scottish Natural Heritage. The HabMoS project board will oversee the production of the Habitat Map of Scotland and provide advice on methodology. The project will produce a data driven map that will use various data sources to show the distribution of Scotland’s semi natural habitats.
Scottish Natural Heritage - works to care for natural heritage, enabling people to enjoy it, helping people to understand and appreciate it, and supporting those who manage it.
Forestry Commission Scotland - advises and implements forestry policy to protect and expand Scotland's forests and to increase their value to society and the environment.
Scottish Government - has a range of responsibilities under devolution, including the environment. Detailed policies, as set out in the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy support the development of a Habitat Map.
Scottish Environment Protection Agency - is making sure that the environment and human health are protected, and ensuring that Scotland’s natural resources and services are used as sustainably as possible and contribute to sustainable economic growth, through environmental regulation, river basin and flood risk management planning and flood warning.
These images are subject to copyright and are for single use only. Please contact Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library for further information, Tel: 01738 444 177 or email@example.com
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