California Department of Fish and Wildlife



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

Monthly CNDDB Data Download

    The CNDDB and accompanying GIS data are updated and processed monthly for distribution to subscribers. The Spotted Owl Observations Database is continually updated and processed periodically for distribution to subscribers. All CNDDB subscribers may download these updates or they may choose to receive a CNDDB RareFind compact disc (CD) in the mail every six months. Access to the download site is password controlled; see below for password information. CNDDB and Spotted Owl dataset components have been compressed into separate, self-executing files. Subscribers with computers running Windows® may use these files to update their CNDDB and Spotted Owl data.


[PDF]  Updates to the CNDDB GIS Data, August 2012


Jump to Data Portal, or read instructions



Data updates and CNDDB password changes will occur every month on the first Tuesday of the month or the next business day if the Tuesday is a holiday. If you are a subscriber and need a RareFind CD, please contact BDB Information Services at (916) 324-3812.

Data Last Updated: May 3, 2016

Update Schedule, 2016
January 5 July 5
February 2 August 2
March 1 September 6
April 5 October 4
May 3 November 1
June 7 December 6


Please read through these instructions before proceeding.

  1. On the dates shown above, current CNDDB subscribers will receive a new Password via E-mail. If you do not receive an E-mail, please contact BDB Information Services at (916) 324-3812 to obtain the current Password.
  2. Click on the following link to access the Department of Fish and Wildlife's Natural Resources Management Portal, where you will login to download the data:
       Natural Resources Management Data Portal
  3. At the portal, you will need to login using the User Name and Password that you were given (see Step 1 to obtain password). 

    The User Name will be either:
    • cnddb_com (for commercial subscribers); or
    • cnddb_gov (for government subscribers).
  4. Once you have access to the server, you will see the files gis_gov.exe (or gis_com.exe), rfdata_gov.exe (or rfdata_com.exe), rfdocs.exe, and spowl_db.exe.
    • The gis_*.exe file contains the CNDDB GIS data for users of ArcGis Desktop, ArcView 3.x or ArcWorkstation. The file size is approximately 146 Mb.

    • The rfdata_*.exe file contains the CNDDB RareFind data, which works with the RareFind 3 application. The file size is approximately 21 Mb.

    • The rfdocs.exe file contains the documentation and help files which may have been updated since your last installation. The file size is approximately 4 Mb.

    • The spowl_db.exe file the California Spotted Owl Database, which can be used with GIS software and/or database applications. The file size is approximately 7 Mb.
  5. To download, simply click on one of the files, and then click on "Save." A pop-up window should appear, prompting you to select a location to which to save the file. Navigate to your Windows Desktop , and then click "Save." The file will be downloaded and saved to your Desktop. Proceed with the remaining files, downloading them as needed.
  6. Once you have downloaded the files to your Desktop, you can run them to extract the data. Double-clicking on the rfdata_*.exe file will cause the compressed data files to be extracted to the C:\CNDDB3\RFDATA folder. The next time you run the RareFind application, it will detect the new data and prepare it for use. Double-clicking on the gis_*.exe file or the spowl_db.exe file will cause the compressed data to be extracted to the C:\CNDDB3\GIS folder, where the data is then available for use.