Your web browser must have JavaScript enabled in order for this application to display correctly.
Some Title

California Species Mapper

Explore species occurrence data throughout California

GBIF search search records from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)

Search within map area:

Tips & Tricks:

  • Only scientific names can be searched
  • Search terms are case-sensitive
  • Search for any taxonomic level (i.e. Chordata, Mammalia, Plantae, Lilium, or Canis lupus)
  • Caution! - a query returning many points will use lots of computer memory. Try zooming to a smaller area to speed up a query.
  • Only records in California will be returned.
iNaturalist search search records from iNaturalist

Search within map area:
Show Images Table

Tips & Tricks:

  • Search for any taxonomic name (common name or scientific name).
  • Mapping a taxon with children (for instance Bombus) will also map observations for all child taxa (i.e. Bombus melanopygus)
  • Only records in California will be returned.

California Layers


Shift+Drag to rotate and zoom the map around its center

Zooming: You can use your mouse wheel, or click the blue zoom in or zoom out buttons on the upper-left corner of the map.

Panning: Left-click on the map and drag to pan to a location.


Adding Layers: Two methods: 1). Search for a species taxon, and click the 'map' button and the layer will be added to your map. 2). Statewide layers are also available under the 'Layers' tab. To add a map layer, click a layer tab and you will see a list of available layers. Click the '+' and the layer will be added to your map and the legend (This may take some time).

Obscured Records: Some records may appear as squares, rather than points. These squares indicate the record's position has been obscured. This is often the case for special-status species. Such records will have an "geoprivacy" attribute set to "obscured".

Getting Information about a layer: Click the info button within a layer's legend. This will display metadata and other information such as permalinks and download links.

Getting Information about features on the map: Click the Select Tool button at the top toolbar. Then either left-click to select a single feature or Control+left-click to draw a select box. A pop-up window will appear with tabular information on the selected layer. If more than one feature is selected, a popup window helps narrow down a feature of interest.

Removing Layers: Click the X on the legend item for a given layer. It will then be removed from the map.

Layer Appearance: For a given layer, you can toggle visibility, change its stacking order with the buttons on its legend entry. If you click Tools in the layer's legend, the Layer Settings dialog can be used to zoom, change opacity, change color, outline width, and alter the symology and labels.


Changing the basemap: Click the Basemap button on the top toolbar. A dialog will display from which you can change the current basemap and its opacity

Saving & Sharing

Saving your map: Click the Save on the top toolbar. A dialog will display from which you can generate a web-link which will load your custom map.

About the California Species Mapper

The California Species Mapper is a tool to find and map species occurrence data onto an interactive map. This mapping tool leverages the depth and breadth of 2 large species occurrence databases; the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), and iNaturalist.

This online tool was developed and is being actively improved and maintained by the Sacramento River Forum

Please address questions to Rob Irwin (email:

Current Basemap



Show your estimated location on the map

Geolocation obtains your geographical position through the browser. Geolocation is most accurate for devices with GPS. After clicking the button, you will be asked for permission to share your location with this webpage.