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This page includes some of the best resources and mapping tools concerned with biodiversity, species distribution, and habitat conservation. These sites provide biological information for flora and fauna worldwide, access to historical biodiversity literature, and interactive maps. Look for the opportunity to download existing datasets and maps or upload new data and create your own maps. 


Get started with some of the most prominent biodiversity organizations and data sources.

GBIF: Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Provides free and open access to biodiversity data. Explore occurrence information for organisms worldwide.

IUCN: International Union for Conservation of Nature
Search the world’s oldest and largest environmental organization for projects, databases, news, and publications.

IAVS: International Association for Vegetation Science
Provides IVAS overview, bulletins, meetings, and publications. Search the resources section for vegetation science databases, plot data, taxonomic information, plant traits, and more information.

Find information about national and local natural heritage programs. See current news, projects, and publications. Use the NatureServe Explorer to find data on North American flora and fauna, including the NatureServe Conservation Status. See tutorial here


Explore these interactive biodiversity databases and mapping tools

BISON: Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation
Access, explore, and download species occurrence data in the United States. Search by common or scientific name, navigate interactive map of the U.S., and find individual occurrences of species. See tutorial here

Data Basin
Provides open access to thousands of scientific studies and biological, physical, and socio-economic datasets. Uploaded studies include interactive maps and spatial data, detailed information on datasets, and further links/resources regarding the site’s contributors. See tutorial here

National Audubon Society Map of Important Bird Areas
Explore interactive map of the United States Important Bird Areas (IBA) and find Information on habitat composition, landowners, bird sightings (links to e-bird), and data citations. See tutorial here

National Biodiversity Data Centre Mapping System (Ireland)
Search for information on biodiversity in Ireland. Explore interactive maps with spatial data/species distribution. Browse databases and data providers for more links and resources.

National Biodiversity Network (United Kingdom)
Explore interactive map of the UK and find information about species occurrence, distribution, protected sites, and habitats. See tutorial here

National Atlas Streamer
Explore interactive map of United States rivers and streams. Trace upstream to sources, or downstream to emptying point, and see detailed report on the path. See tutorial here

OBIS: Ocean Biogeographic Information System
Search world-wide for marine species datasets, occurrence, and distribution information. View detailed ecological and habitat information. Download datasets and visualizations. See tutorial here

WDPA: World Database on Protected Areas
Explore global dataset on marine and terrestrial protected areas. Search for areas with interactive map, follow links to data providers for further information and resources.


Use these resources to quickly find taxonomic, biological, and distribution information for species around the world

Search world-wide database for avian taxonomic information, distribution, photographs, vocalizations, interactive map of sightings, and other links/resources.

Search fish species worldwide for classification, range map, morphological data, distribution, a brief biological overview (diet, habitat behavior, etc.), and IUCN red list status.

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History: North American Mammals
Search for biological and behavioral information on North American mammals. Use interactive map to explore eco-regions and species distribution.


More international biodiversity resources

Conservation of Australia’s Biodiversity
Provides overview of biodiversity in Australia, including conservation strategies, legislation, research projects, and publications. Includes links to databases and other resources related to biodiversity and natural history.

Spain Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Environment
Provides comprehensive information on biodiversity topics in Spain. Includes endangered species conservation, habitat conservation, plans and strategies, legislation, publications, grant information, and resources.

WWF: World Wildlife Fund
Search by country for information on individual wildlife species, current projects, environmental threats, news, and publications.

Search these digital libraries for historical biodiversity literature

BHI: Biodiversity Heritage Library
Free access to biodiversity literature from 1450-2013.

Botanicus Digital Library
Free access to historic botanical literature from the Missouri Botanical Garden Library. Search for documents by title, author, subject, year, and location. 1480-1950

Created by dpwalton on Sep 27, 2013 Last updated Aug 24, 2015
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