Information Resources and Technology Management


You are invited to read the definitions of terms used in this data standard.

Ecosystem Unit Boundaries
Digital ecosystem information portraying the location and boundaries of the ecosystem units in several file formats. The Service originally chose the U.S. Geological Survey's Hydrologic Unit Map as the foundation for delineating ecosystem unit boundaries on a national scale. Since that time, boundaries in some of the regions have been moved to the closest county boundaries to simplify management responsibilities. The current unit boundaries reflect this combination.
The source information provided here should be considered 'final' draft, although most of the known discrepancies have been resolved through the review process.

-  GIS files in Shapefile format (updated 3/14/2000, but not yet finalized)

Historical Data For information on past versions of this standard, contact the Chief Data Officer

Part 052, FW 1, Ecosystem Approach to Fish and Wildlife Conservation.

Part 052, FW 1, Exhibit 1, Watershed Based Units, is a PDF of the FWS ecosystem boundaries, names, and numbers.  NOTE:  Two ecosystems have been renamed to coincide with FWS ecoregion names in the Southeast (Region 4):  30 - Northeast Gulf Watersheds (formerly Florida Panhandle Watersheds); and 32 - North Florida (formerly Peninsular Florida). 

Part 270, FW 6, Data Management and Standards, has been superceded by Part 274, FW 2, Establishing Service Data Standards.

Ecosystem Approach to Fish and Wildlife Conservation: An Assessment by Ohio State University - An evaluation of the above document and the Directorate decision.

Use Instructions
As of the approval date, this data standard will be used whenever spatial data for the Ecosystem Unit Boundaries are required for any application, display, or analysis that references the official U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ecosystem Units. It replaces the maps currently delineated on the "U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ecosystem Approach Watershed Based Unit Map."

Service staff are strongly encouraged to utilize this data layer in existing systems, data sets, databases, and information applications. Where existing systems and data-related items are not in compliance, they should be modified to achieve compatibility and implement this data standard.

This data standard also needs to be used in conjunction with the Ecosystem Unit Name and Ecosystem Unit Number Data Element Standards.

None at this time.
Approval Date
March 21, 2000
Validation Date
September 16, 2013
Data Steward Kurt Snider, Cartographer, Cookeville Ecological Services Field Office, FWS Region 4.


Last updated: May 9, 2019