California Department of Fish and Wildlife



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Department of Fish & Wildlife
Biogeographic Data Branch

Physical Address:
1700 9th Street, 4th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95811

Mailing Address:
1416 9th Street, Suite 1266
Sacramento, CA 95814

(916) 322-2493 • Email BDB

RareFind 3 Links

RareFind 3 © Application Overview and Summary


The Department of Fish and Wildlife's RareFind 3 software program provides convenient access to the information contained in the California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB).  With this program you can search for plant, animal, and natural community element occurrences based on hundreds of criteria, view these element occurrence records, analyze them, and print reports.  The CNDDB has been developing information about California's rare and endangered species and natural communities since 1979.

RareFind 3 is a database application designed to run on IBM compatible computers.  It is a self contained (standalone) program compiled under Visual FoxPro for Windows©.  The FoxPro© runtime module is supplied along with the program and database files so that no additional software is necessary to run this application.  You can run RareFind 3 on any Windows PC with a Pentium processor, a mouse, 64 Mb of RAM (128 Mb recommended) and 125-150 Mb of free disk space.  The program will run on Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, or later operating systems.

RareFind 3 currently contains over 75,000 records on more than 3,000 rare native species and natural communities in a convenient, searchable database.  Offering all textual data associated with the Department of Fish and Wildlife's CNDDB, RareFind 3 can either be used as a standalone research tool or used with the GIS applications ArcView or ArcGIS to access the spatial data set.  A CNDDB ArcView project and an ArcGIS map document are included on the RareFind 3 CD as well as a customized ArcView extension and a RareFind menu in the CNDDB ArcGIS map document.  These utilities allow for the easy exchange of selected data sets between RareFind 3 and ArcView 3.x or ArcGIS.

Rare species can be searched for by their scientific or common names.  Other key querying options include legal status, quad, county, habitat types, ecological descriptions, population information and general ownership.  There are also multiple cross tabulation options for data analysis.  A flexible report writing tool uses standardized report templates and allows reports to be generated as both Word documents and PDFs.

There are 2,869 7.5 minute (1:24,000 scale) United States Geological Survey (USGS) quad maps that make up our California base map.  These quads can be referenced either by their name or by a seven character quad code.  Quads can be searched one at a time, or several at a time.  The search results from multiple quad searches can be combined to form a regional results set.  A quad search will result in a report of all plants, animals and natural communities found in part or entirely on the quad.  More specific location detail is available using the GIS component.

The CNDDB is offered on a yearly subscription basis; it includes an initial copy of RareFind 3 on CD and an update sent six months later.  Along with the application, the CD contains the entire statewide data set and the GIS spatial data for use in ArcView 3.x and ArcGIS.  Monthly updates of these data are also available to subscribers via password-protected downloads from the Department's web page.  If you would like to order a RareFind 3 subscription or need additional information, please call our Information Services staff at (916) 324-3812.

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