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New Jersey’s Landscape Project

New Jersey’s Landscape Project

Wildlife Habitat Mapping for Community Land-use Planning and Species Conservation
Revised and Updated May, 2017

View NJN News Feature on Landscape Project

What is the Landscape Project?

Designed to guide strategic wildlife habitat conservation, the Landscape Project is a pro-active, ecosystem-level approach for the long-term protection of imperiled species and their important habitats in New Jersey. The N.J. Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) began the project in 1994. Its goal: to protect New Jersey’s biological diversity by maintaining and enhancing imperiled wildlife populations within healthy, functioning ecosystems. (more)

Why does NJ need the Landscape Project?

New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation. One of the consequences of this distinction is the extreme pressure that is placed on our natural resources. As the population grows, we continue to lose or impact the remaining natural areas of the state. As more and more habitat is lost, people are beginning to appreciate the benefits — and necessity — of maintaining land in its natural state.

We know that wetlands are critical for recharging aquifers, lessening the damage from flooding and naturally breaking down contaminants in the environment. Forests and grasslands protect the quality of our drinking water, help purify the air we breathe and provide important areas for outdoor recreation. Collectively, these habitats are of critical importance to the diverse assemblage of wildlife found in New Jersey, including endangered, threatened and special concern species.

Who benefits from the Landscape Project?

In addition to providing habitat for the conservation of imperiled species, protecting important wildlife habitats will result in more open space for outdoor recreation. Recent surveys by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show that more than 60% of Americans participate in some form of wildlife-related recreation. Open spaces provide places where people can escape the confines of urban and suburban living. Retaining habitats in their natural state provides other benefits, such as reducing the threat of flooding, allowing for the biodegradation of environmental contaminants and recharging ground water reserves. (more)

Download Landscape Project GIS Data

Critical wildlife habitat maps can be downloaded from NJDEP Bureau of GIS website. (more)

Read New Jersey’s Landscape Project Report

The following reports provide in-depth information about the Landscape Project, the methodology used to delineate and rank habitat, and the peer-review and working groups that assisted in development of the methodology.

New Jersey’s Landscape Project (Version 3.3) (pdf, 6.4mb)

Appendices to Landscape Project Report (Version 3.3)
   Appendix I (pdf, 130kb) – Protocol for Accepting or Rejecting Species Sighting Reports
   Appendix II (pdf, 1.2mb) – Species Occurrence Area Justifications
   Appendix III (pdf, 32kb) – NJDEP 2012 Land Use/Land Cover Categories
   Appendix IV (pdf, 5.2mb) – Land Use/Land Cover Analysis for Species and their Feature Label Components
   Appendix V (pdf, 5.3 mb) – Land Use/Land Cover Selections and Patch Type Justifications

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 420
Trenton, NJ 08625
Last Update: May 30th, 2022