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NOTICE: This site was made by the Center for Applied Spatial Ecology at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, N.M. in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It is currently hosted on a server at New Mexico State University and not by the U.S. EPA.
Recommended  Citation:

Boykin, K.G., T.S. Schrader, R.K. Guy, W.G. Kepner,
A.E Ernst, A.N. el Sadek, and W.W.S. Yee. 2014.
San Pedro River Basin Data Browser.


The San Pedro River Basin Data browser was developed by the New Mexico Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM) in conjunction with EPA Region 9 (San Francisco, CA) and the EPA Office of Research and Development (Landscape Ecology Branch, Las Vegas, NV).

The common goal among the developers of the San Pedro River Basin Data Browser is to improve decision-making relative to environmental management through the development of applied research. The focus of the research has been to design an integrated system of landscape metrics, spatial statistics, and various process models that can operate at multiple scales. The process has operated simultaneously along two lines of direction:

  1. A basic research component to develop and test landscape indicators and assessment protocols, and;
  2. An implementation component to demonstrate the application of landscape analysis protocols to ecological and hydrological assessments via geographic initiatives.

Acquisition of primary spatial data and database development are initial features of any landscape assessment project. They provide contemporary land cover and the ancillary datasets necessary to establish reference condition and develop alternative future scenarios that serve as input variables for various hydrological, habitat, and economic models. The purpose of this data browser is to provide a long term record keeping (archiving) system with easy public access to an array of spatial data for the entire San Pedro River Basin.

The San Pedro flows 230 km from its headwaters in Sonora, Mexico near Cananea to its confluence with the Gila River near Winkelman. The drainage area for the San Pedro River Basin is approximately 9,723 km2. Elevations in the watershed range from 900 to 2900 meters and annual rainfall ranges from 300 to 750 mm. It is one of the last free-flowing rivers in the Southwest, supports one of the highest numbers of mammal species in the world, and provides critical habitat and a migration corridor to several hundred bird species. The basin represents an ecotone between two major North American deserts, the Chihuahuan and Sonoran, and terrestrial vertebrate richness exceeds 452 species. The broad land use/land cover categories represented in the river basin include woodland (oak and mesquite), desertscrub, grassland, forest, agriculture crops, riparian, and urban.


The most important feature developed by the New Mexico Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit for this database is the digital land cover maps in SWReGAP Ecological System (34 classes) and NLCD Formation (10 classes) formats and all associated metadata files.

Additionally, we have included the EPA Integrated Climate and Land-Use Scenarios (ICLUS v1.3) datasets for the river basin (EPA 2010). Hydrology, elevation, satellite imagery, and political boundary datasets are described in more detail below.

All data provided have been compressed using Winzip 9.0.

Data Description

All GIS Data are in the following projection1:

  • Projected Coordinate System: NAD_1983_ UTM Zone 12
  • Projection: Transverse Mercator
  • Linear Unit: Meter
  • Raster Pixel Resolution: 30m*
  • Vector Resolution: See metadata files for native resolution

1 Imagery, landform, and GAP Ownership data were left in original projection (USA_Contiguous_Albers_Equal_Area_Conic_USGS_version).

*DRG's and DOQQ's which were kept in their native high resolution format. ICLUS is also offered in its native 100m pixel format.


Land Cover: There are eight available land cover related datasets: Southwest Regional Gap Land Cover Ecological System Level, Southwest Regional Gap Land Cover aggregated to NLCD formations, three LandSat 7 Mosaic imagery sets (Spring, Summer, and Fall), and three Tassel Cap land cover models (Spring, Summer, and Fall).

Integrated Climate and Land-Use Scenarios (ICLUS): In 2009, the U.S. EPA released the Land-Use Scenarios: National-Scale Housing-Density Scenarios Consistant with Climage Change Storylines final report. The project created raster datasets to project land use changes over ten year increments to the year 2100 based on the 2000 census data and the four storylines and one base case from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES). This created a total of 50 datasets over the conterminous United States, which we have provided here for the San Pedro Watershed in the native 100 m resolution.

Geology/Elevation: Ten geospatial geology and elevation datasets are available to download, including soils, and seamless Digital Elevation Model data and their derivatives.

Hydrology: We have provided twelve hydrology datasets, derived from the National Hydrography Dataset Plus, as well as from the seamless elevation dataset also provided within this website.

Ancillary:Thirty-five datasets are available, which include five DRGs and five DOQQs, as well as population, demographic, and land ownership datasets.

Habitat Models:Habitat models for the San Pedro River Basin can be obtained from the Southwest Regional Gap Analysis Project (SWReGAP, 2007). These deductive models were created through known habitat relationships of terrestrial vertebrates throughout the various parts of its life history. They provide a prediction of habitat distribution, and hence, known and probable coverage of a species' geographic range.


Users are advised that the majority of coverages within the database have been provided by a number of other agencies. Verification of the quality and use of any data supplied via this product are the responsibility of the user.

For a complete list of these datasets and the way in which they were created, please see the Summary Report.

San Pedro River Basin

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