The BulkLoadPrepToolbox was developed by Molly Moore, Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. The attached PDF document provides instructions for obtaining, installing, and running the tool, as is a PowerPoint presentation which explains it. Basically, the tool performs a separation distance analysis (according to NatureServe methodology) to group SFs into new or existing EOs. Given that the Bulk Create tool bypasses this step, assuming that you have grouped data appropriately, having this tool to automate the process for you is UBER-helpful!The resulting data can then be used to facilitate the Bulk Create process. NatureServe wholeheartedly applauds this tool and strongly encourages folks to use it! Submit a ticket if you need help! For questions regarding the Aquatic tool, please contact Molly!


Following are additional steps developed to facilitate preparing your spatial data prior to using in the Toolbox in order to include separation distances, as found in Biotics:

  1. Assuming you want to limit SF/EO creation to tracked elements, run the following query in Query Builder and export to a CSV file named Tracked_Elements.csv. Alternatively, edit the where clause for eots.eo_track_status_cd='Y' to eliminate it or include additional values:
    select est.element_subnational_id, eots.eo_track_status_cd from element_subnational est, d_eo_track_status eots where est.d_eo_track_status_id=eots.d_eo_track_status_id (+) and eots.eo_track_status_cd='Y'
  2. After changing the subnation_id in two places within (CTRL+F to find) the attached Separation_Distance.sql query, run the query in Query Builder and export the result to a csv file named Separation_Distance.csv. See the notes in the query for further details about what is included (i.e. suitable habitat distance for element/element group).
  3. In ArcMap, Join the Tracked_Elements.csv to the spatial data according to EST ID
  4. Join the Separation_Distance.csv to the spatial data set on EST ID or the EST_by_LUC, if Location Use Class is included in the spatial data set.
  5. Data Export to export to a new geodatabase so that the process is only run for tracked species, with the required Separation Distance included.
  6. Select by Attributes having SEP_DIST_1=0
  7. Calculate SEP_DIST_1=1 to set the default separation distance of 1 km, where it has not been assigned.
    NOTE: Update data within the SEP_DISTANCE field (in kilometers) in the SFSurvey.gdb sf_point feature class for the following reasons:
    • any of the locations fall within unsuitable habitat
    • a more appropriate distance than the 1 km default can be assigned, especially in the case of plants, in which case the Data Manager should coordinate with the program Botanist to determine the appropriate separation distance. Given that few plant species have custom Separation Distances at either the species or Element Group level, the Habitat-based Plant Element Occurrence Delimitation Guide should be used to determine the appropriate Separation Distance. The Plant EO Specifications Decision Tree was developed and vetted by network botanists, and provides a separation distance based on life history traits, suitable and unsuitable habitat
  8. Repeat Steps 3 – 9 as necessary if more than a single layer (i.e. points, lines, polys)
  9. Create a unique id field in the data set, if it does not aleady have one.
  10. Select for data with Locational Uncertainty Type of Estimated and buffer it according to Locational Uncertainty Distance to create a new data set- THIS IS NECESSARY BECAUSE THE SEPARATION DISTANCE ANALYSIS MUST BE RUN FROM SF TO SF.
  11. Run BulkLoadPrepToolbox, pointing to existing SF & EO layers, according to the attached BulkLoadPrepToolbox_Readme.pdf.

  12. Assuming that you had at least some data that had Locational Uncertainty Type of Estimated, after running the BulkLoadPrepToolbox join that data (the LUT=Estimated layer) back to the original layer (pre-buffered layer) based on the unique ID field as the pre-buffered layer is what is uploaded during the Bulk Create process. The Bulk Create process uses the LUD to buffer the pre-Source Feature when Locational Uncertainty Type=Estimated. Make sure to add/populate the EO_ID & EO_NEW columns according to the data joined from the buffered layer.