An update for Roadkill data


Some of you might wonder what that spike is all about on the "roadkill dashboard."

It's what happens when we execute a batch import of roadkill data from the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD). The ITD has implemented a system where they log the carcass pickups that their crews perform. I'd like to take a moment to thank them, and our Idaho Fish and Game employees who also do this deed, as by no means is roadkill cleanup an easy job!

Graph of recent data spike

Back to that data spike. In addition to the continual stream of motivated roadkill entry-folks into our Roadkill or Salvage online reporting system, several times a year we request  data from ITD's carcass inventory system. They provide us an Excel table with the appropriate fields, and we automagically upload it using a batch-import-process.

These partnerships give IDFG the capacity to house all the recorded road-kill data from each vested sector: ITD, IDFG, and various public groups. We at IFWIS also have other data partnerships using the same Observations Core database as Roadkill. While the other information is not nearly as public as a bloated deer on the side-of-the-road, the data are very meaningful for use in conservation and management of Idaho's wildlife diversity.

This data-import mechanism is extremely important because it's the first step we have for importing large datasets from critical special-status species into our Observations Core database. This database houses the Roadkill data as well as other species of special interest. 

Thanks to technology advances, but more importantly, a strong will to work together, our IFWIS team is working with our partners to bridge data gaps. Projects like the Multi-Species Baseline Initiative (MBI) highlight the importance and power behind bringing source observational data to a centralized location.

Back to roadkill. This last spike of roadkill records included some 3,300 records. Not all of those were from this year. Some records were entered from a backlog, as most carcass removals are jotted down on paper before being put into the computer.

You also may notice that not all of the roadkill data have a species defined, either. Sometimes, it's because the smear on the road is undefinable. Other times, it's because an animal isn't available on the "pick list" on their entry form. Items like the latter are being corrected as we find them through a joint effort of ITD and IDFG.

This last update brought the total record count of Idaho roadkill data to 20,392 records. In my opinion, the magnificent thing to mention about this spike, is that it represents a point where data is coming in faster than ever before. Since January 1, 2012, we've imported 5,929 records. Granted, only 1,714 were killed on the highways since that date. Having this information available, at a statewide level, will allow IDFG and ITD staff to make informed decisions about highway safety, for you, and the animals.

You can help us with our quest by signing up and reporting the roadkill (or any animal) you see, as well. Just take a few moments to fill-out the short form for Roadkill or general Wildlife Observations

Your contributions do help!

Bug Patch for ArcGIS FLEXnet Licensing error: -15,570



    The user is intermittently unable to open ArcGIS (local installation) and connect to license server. The following error is presented: 


The License server manager (lmgrd) has not been started yet, the wrong port@host or license file is being used, or the port or hostname in the license file has been changed.

Feature: Viewer


FLEXnet Licensing error: -15,570



       The cause seems to be that the default timeout setting for the FLEXLM license manager is 2-seconds. Which is more than ample on a LAN, but less than ideal on slower VPN’s, or DSL connections.



       Solution can be found from this source to on several occasions). However, I would HIGHLY recommend that if this is indeed the patch, that we create a script for our clients to run rather than follow these steps.

  • Right click My Computer and choose properties.
  • On system property dialogue box choose advanced tab.
  • Click on the environment Variables
  • On environment variable dialogue box choose system variables field and hit the new button
  • A new system variable dialogue box with two fields appears; put “FLEXLM_TIMEOUT” in variable name and put 1000000 in variable value field
  • Click OK on all three dialogue boxes to close them


Tips and Tricks when using a map created from ArcGIS Viewer for Flex

Here's a couple general tips and tricks when using a webmap created using  ArcGIS Viewer for Flex

  • The more you utilize the map data viewer, the refresh and drawing time will decrease. Your computer’s web browser will cache some of the data so next time you draw that area it should perform quicker.
  • Zoom into an area of interest before you check the data layers for display.
  • Only choose 4 or 5 data layers to display at any one time.  Displaying all the layers at once will tend to slow down the refresh time.
  • Pressing F5 will zoom to the original extent as when initially opened and refresh all the layers.

Clear a cache from Internet Explorer 9

Here's how to clear a cache for Internet Explorer - 9


On the toolbar, click TOOLS - F12 Developer Tools. 

 A separate menubar will appear.  Click on CACHE-CLEAR


 The cache will be cleared, now Reboot/Restart your computer


NOTE: If the 'F12 Developer Tools is not activated you will need to activate it by adding a registry file to your device.  Click here to install the registry file.  This should take less than a minute.



FREE College-Level GIS Educational Resources from Penn State

Penn State is now offering Open Education Resources for a number of their departments including Geography that hosts coursework for a number of GIS and remote sensing related classes offered at the university. The bonus is, you are allowed to use and re-use materials you find on this website. 

From the website: 


GIS & Remote Sensing coursework currently up on their website:

Take a look:

Ranking Elements of Biodiversity in Idaho

Historically, IDFG Biologists used a data management system, called Biotics, to track Element information and aide in the development of conservation ranks.  Biotics managed the information in the background and ranking often involved a fair amount of qualitative assessment and judgment by an expert or group.  This process had issues with consistency and repeatability.  In 2004, NatureServe formed the Element Ranking Working Group to address these issues and to develop a ranking protocol.  The major product of this group was a ranking calculator, which IDFG biologists now rely on for assisting in the assignment of status ranks.  This ranking system is intended to be free of bias, transparent to users, and allow for consistency of application within and between groups.  It also provides documentation for tracking of the decision process.

What’s necessary to accurately rank species in Idaho? 

The short answer is the knowledge of rarity, trends and threats for a species.  NatureServe has developed a rank calculator to enable the calculation of conservation status ranks for a “unit of biological diversity”, also known as an “Element.”  This Element may be a species or natural community.

Don’t you need an EO?

No, Element Occurrence (EO) records are not necessary for ranking a species or community.  A collection of criteria, which can include EO’s, are used in assessing and determining an Element’s conservation status rank.

Rank Calculator:

NatureServe provides a Microsoft Excel workbook that allows for automatic calculation of an element conservation status rank from data that is entered into the forms and tables included within the workbook.  The “NatureServe Conservation Status Assessments: Rank Calculator Version 2.0”, along with supporting material can be downloaded at  Supporting materials include: Factors for Assessing Extinction Rate and Methodology for Assigning Ranks.  Use of this tool allows for more consistent, accurate, repeatable and transparent ranking of species.

The rank calculator uses three categories (rarity, trends and threats), with a cumulative ten conservation status factors, of which eight are “core” factors, for assessing conservation status.  These factors, by category, used to assess conservation status are:

• Rarity: Population Size, Range Extent, Area of Occupancy, Number of Occurrences, Number of Occurrences or Percent Area with Good Viability/Ecological Integrity, and Environmental Specificity (used only when the Number of Occurrences and Area of Occupancy are unknown);
• Trends: Long-term and Short-term Trend in population size or area;
• Threats: Threat Impact (generated by considering the scope and severity of the major threats), and Intrinsic Vulnerability (used only if Threat Impact is unknown).
(NatureServe 2009).

A rank can be assigned with as few as two of the eight core factors, including either: 2 rarity categories (one of which must be either Range Extent or Area of Occupancy), or 1 rarity and 1 trend or 1 threat category.




The Conservation Registry - Connect & Share Natural Resource Conservation Data & Maps

At the Northwest Scientific Association meeting last week, I attended an afternoon session that introduced me to a great online conservation project database, The Conservation Registry: This website allows you to share and search for data, maps, and documentation related to conservation projects across the country.

From there website:





FREE GIS tools for Wildlife Habitat Connectivity, Suitability, and Occurence Modeling

Did you know there is a plethera of FREE, that's right I said FREE, ArcGIS tools and toolboxes available for wildlife habitat and corridor modeling? Conveniently, many of these tools are listed on the CorridorDesign website:

Happy Modeling!


Introducing Ask Fish & Game - An online Q&A for F&G

Ask Fish & Game
is a new feature on the IDFG website, designed to assist with the questions



This new feature is designed to:

  • make answers easier for the public and our staff to find by establishing a central, searchable Q&A repository
  • increase the visibility of recent/popular questions by embedding questions contextually across our website (view a live example in the sidebar of the Wildlife Summit)
  • establish a more efficient, trackable workflow, ensuring that questions that are asked are answered

Video Screencast Overviews

Ask Fish & Game - An Overview

A review of the new questions and answers functionality added to the Idaho Fish & Game website. The "Ask Fish & Game" section allows anyone to ask a question of IDFG and the answer may be posted for others. Questions may be viewed by category or tag and these lists may be embedded on the IDFG website, or any website contextually. 


Ask Fish & Game - Management Interface

How to answer, assign and edit questions received at Ask Fish & Game. Designed for IDFG staff, this video reviews what to expect and how to use the management features.

Over the next few weeks we will be involving more IDFG Staff in assisting with answering questions.  When you do, you’ll receive an email with the title “[Ask Fish & Game] A Question has been assigned to you” with links to view and answer the question.

Adding Excel .xlsx files to an ArcMap 10 document.

Don’t ask  me why but…  if you have office 2010 on your computer, you have to install the office 2007 system driver in order to see .xlsx files in ArcMap 10.

It’s a quick install.  You can find it here.