Beautiful biodiversity maps help SavingSpecies scientists prioritize conservation.
Conservationists constantly warn that the planet’s biodiversity is in crisis mode, but the world is a big place. In order to best protect species, it’s useful to know where they live.
With that simple truth in mind, a group of researchers have produced maps depicting the whereabouts of all known birds, mammals and amphibians at resolutions about 100 times finer than anything available before.
SavingSpecies reports on some of the interesting trends the maps reveal:
For birds, the Andes are simply unparalleled for their concentrations of rare birds. Within the Americas, only southeastern Brazil and parts of Central America come close to showing such concentrations of rare birds.
Rare mammals are concentrated in much the same pattern.
For amphibians, the concentration of these super-rare species is even more extreme. The map below shows how a handful of small regions in the Andes have exceptional concentrations of rare amphibians.
In these and nearby regions scientists are discovering many new amphibians, just at the time when their habitats are disappearing faster than ever before.
Tellingly, too little data exist on reptiles and fishes in order to include them in the map. Animals such as insects and crustaceans are likewise out of the question for mapping since so little information is available about their distribution.
Still, the team hopes their maps can help inform both local and global policies, protections and research agendas based upon knowing where those efforts would make the biggest impact.
Source | smithsonianmag.com | savingspecies.org
President Barack Obama has designated 12.3 million acres as wilderness in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, also announced he would open the Atlantic Ocean to drilling and would sell more oil and gas leases in Arctic waters. Read More
The study, published recently in the journal Nature Climate Change, used a unique long-term outdoor experiment to examine the effects of climate change on trees in the boreal forest along the U.S.-Canadian border. Read More
The vaquita is vanishing. Fewer than 100 of the tiny porpoises are left on Earth, and scientists say the species could easily be extinct by 2018. Read More