University of Massachusetts Amherst

Conservation Assessment and Prioritization System

Conservation Assessment and Prioritization System

Data & Maps

In November 2011 the Landscape Ecology Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst completed its first comprehensive, statewide assessment of ecological integrity using CAPS. The results from this assessment are available from this web site. The results are available in four formats.

  • Georeferenced TIFF files (GeoTIFFs). GeoTIFF file sizes are generally smaller than Arc grids. They can be viewed using an image viewer, web browser, or with GIS software. GeoTIFFS are available for IEI, land cover, metrics (raw and scaled) and ecological settings variables. IEI and scaled metric values in GeoTIFFs are scaled from 0 (low) to 100 (high).
  • Arc grids for use with GIS software. Arc grids are also available for land cover, metrics (raw and scaled) and ecological settings variables. IEI and scaled metric values are scaled from 0 (low) to 1 (high).
  • Maps for each city and town in Massachusetts depicting the Integrated Index of Ecological Integrity (IEI-I) scores. These maps are in the form of high-resolution PDFs depicting areas in the top 50% of values using integrated IEI scores. Ecological communities are differentiated by color for the following categories: forest (green), shrubland (orange), coastal uplands (yellow to brown), coastal wetlands (cyan) and freshwater wetlands and aquatic (blue). For all ecological community types darker colors indicating higher-valued cells.
  • Maps depicting "Habitat of Potential Regional and Statewide Importance" as defined in MassDEP's Massachusetts Wildlife Habitat Protection Guidance for Inland Wetlands. These maps, also known as "Important Habitat" maps, are available as high-resolution PDFs for each town and city. They are based on the integrated index of ecological integrity and depict all areas (not just regulated "resource areas") that score in the top 40% for IEI-I. Areas so designated as "Habitat of Potential Regional and Statewide Importance" represent 40% of the undeveloped landscape as well as 40% of each ecological community (e.g. forest, shallow marsh, shrub swamp, forested wetland, salt marsh). "Important Habitat" data are also available for download as Arc grids or GeoTIFFs.