Saturday, 27 April 2013

Want to know how a species is faring? Head to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List The Red List is the product of the world’s largest network of scientists and NGOs working on conservation issues. It collects and analyzes data on over 45,000 species from almost every country. The Red List uses a categorization and criteria process to determine biodiversity of an area and status of a species. They decide which species are endangered, extinct, and doing just fine.

To me, the coolest feature of the IUCN Red List database is the geographic range maps. The scientists use data from the field to assemble maps that show the most up-to-date range of the species they follow. You can even download spatial data to use in programs like GIS. Neat stuff! Want to know where the African Wild Dog lives? Check it out here: (also pasted below). See how fragmented its habitat is? No wonder its numbers are dwindling and is listed as endangered! Not only does this data help students like us give cool presentations; it is instrumental in species conservation efforts.

- Morgan

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