The Species Occurrence (SO) records include information on the location, status, characteristics, numbers, condition, and distribution of Plant Species of Concern using established Natural Heritage Methodology developed by NatureServe and The Natural Heritage Network. A Species Occurrence (SO) is an area of land and/or water in which a species is, or was, present. An SO should have practical conservation value for the species as evidenced by potential continued (or historical) presence and/or regular recurrence at a given location. SO records are most commonly created for current or historically known occurrences of native species of conservation interest. They may also be created, in some cases, for extirpated occurrences. Plant Species Occurrences are based on Observations from the Montana Natural Heritage program's Botany Observation Database. In many cases, an SO will represent several Observations, or visits, to a given location.
The Species Occurrence (SO) data are collected and maintained by the Montana Natural Heritage Program using a standardized methodology to provide accurate and current biodiversity and conservation information to public and private agencies and individuals. The primary emphasis is on species that are rare or otherwise imperiled (Species of Concern). Uses of the data can include: natural resource management, conservation planning, environmental review, biological and ecological research, land acquisition, and economic development.