Fun Stuff

Atlas of Global Conservation

The world’s first comprehensive collection of conservation maps has been published by the Nature Conservancy.  The Atlas of Global Conservation is, according to the Nature Conservancy, the first time that everything we know about nature on planet Earth has been collected into one place.
AtlasThe first thing to do when you start exploring the online Atlas is to Choose a Map.  I chose Habitats & Species, with the Terrestrial type and Number of Mammal Species.  Instantly the world map changed color, with darker shades representing areas with 251-303 mammal species.  Very clearly the darker shades were across the tropical regions of the planet, which makes sense because the rainforests are a bastion of life.

If you double click on the map, an ecoregion box springs up that shows you the ecoregion’s name and the number of mammal species it has.  In my case, I learned that the Guianan Highlands Moist Forest in north eastern South America has 237 mammal species.

Wow! 237 mammal species.  How many could an average person name or even recognize?

A moment later, I clicked on a new map type and learned that the area has 613 bird species.  Then, 123 snake and lizard species.  All working together to keep the ecosystem healthy.

I have only seen the online version.  However, you can order your own copy of the full Atlas through the Nature Conservancy’s marketplace.  It costs $44.95 (US Dollars), and has 272 pages, 229 color illustrations, 6 b/w photographs, 40 line illustrations, and 79 maps.

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Alison Wheatley

Alison Wheatley

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