Species Mapper uses locations where species have been found to help predict additional places where they may occur in the park. These predictions, or models, are based on observations made during ongoing resource monitoring as well as during research studies conducted by scientists from all over the world. The result of the model is a reliable distribution of where each species lives in the park. - NPS News Release August 2016
An example predicted species map for Scarlet Tanagers (Piranga olivacea)
Two useful tools for researching specific species in the Smokies include NPSpecies, which provides information regarding the occurrence and status of species on National Park Service lands (you can limit by locale, e.g., GSMP, Uwharrie National Forest, etc.). IRMA is the Integrated Resource Management Application database, which is an information/data repository for Natural Park Service's natural and cultural resources.
Need a description of an area's topography, geology/soils, common and rare flora/fauna, or other natural resources?
Natural heritage inventories have been created nationwide to track states' natural resources, biodiversity, and conservation efforts. Links to these often provide information about species' (both flora and fauna) distributions across natural communities within a state, descriptions of natural communities themselves, and additional conservation information.
North Carolina's Heritage Program is particularly robust providing not only a list of rare plants and animals, but a natural communities list which describes forests, balds, woodlands, outcrops, glades, barrens, grasslands, etc. North Carolina Regional and County Inventories are also available and these inventories generally include descriptions of the study area's climate, topography, geology/soils, use, flora, and fauna.
The WCU Herbarium (WCUH), established in 1953, houses over 30,0000 pressed plant and fungi specimens. The largest botanical resource in western North Carolina, holdings include Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Flora of Southern Highland Rock Outcrops collections.
Additional information regarding the WCU Herbarium can be found at the WCU Herbarium website. Dr. Kathy Mathews is currently the director of the WCU Herbarium.