Learn Lesson: Use species distribution patterns to assess protected areas
Using the Esri Platform, this lesson shows users how to map protected areas and species information on the rarity of birds to understand how countries are protecting bird species with the highest rarity.
Species diversity is the foundation of a healthy planet. The leading cause of species extinction is habitat loss. Protecting species requires protecting enough suitable habitat for species to live, thrive, and fulfill their ecological function.
The Half-Earth Project is working to conserve half the Earth’s land and sea in order to protect enough habitat for 85% or more of Earth’s species. The Half-Earth Project is mapping the location of species, protected areas, and human activities, and using this information to identify the best places to protect the most species.
GIS is at the core of determining which half of the Earth to protect. This Learn Lesson introduces some of the mapping methods the Half-Earth Project team deploys, and how these methods lead to identifying conservation priorities.
The two fundamental considerations for examining biodiversity in any area are:
- Species Richness – the total numbers of species in that area
- Species Rarity – based on the number of species found only in that area
In this learn lesson, you will focus on protected areas and species information on the rarity of birds to understand and map how countries are protecting bird species with the highest rarity. This lesson focuses on the continent of Africa, though the analysis can be replicated for other locations.