Mapping birds, biodiversity and business: the role of GIS in conservation


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by Mark Balman, Birdlife

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Mapping birds, biodiversity and business: the role of GIS in conservation

  1. 1. Mapping birds, biodiversity and business: the role of GIS in conservation Mark Balman - GIS Support Analyst BirdLife International
  2. 2. Who are BirdLife International What we do How do we use GIS
  3. 3. BirdLife Partners operate in over one hundredcountries and territories worldwideMore than 4,000 staff working for conservationOver 2,500,000 members worldwide10,000,000 worldwide supportersOver 2 million children involved annuallyOver 1,000,000 hectares owned or managed
  4. 4. BirdLife Partners collaborate on regional workprogrammes in every continent.BirdLifes aims are to:Prevent the extinction of any bird speciesMaintain and where possible improve the conservation status of all bird speciesConserve and where appropriate improve and enlarge sites and habitatsimportant for birdsHelp, through birds, to conserve biodiversity and to improve the quality ofpeoples livesIntegrate bird conservation into sustaining peoples livelihoods
  5. 5. Why Conserve Birds?Birds are part of biodiversity of immense valueSocieties value birds for economic, cultural, ethical and spiritual reasonsThe birdwatching industry is a growing economic forceBirds are excellent indicators of the state of the environment.
  6. 6. Black and Yellow Broadbill
  7. 7. Knowledge ManagementEnormous quantities of high quality, up-to-date, synthesiseddata are needed to prioritise species, sites and habitats correctly.Managing data, information and knowledge within BirdLife is atask in itself and GIS plays an ever increasing and important role.
  8. 8. A brief history of GIS at BirdLifePre 2000, Atlas GIS, MapInfo2000 – 2005, MapInfo2006 – present, ArcGIS, Google Earth,Postresql, Geoserver +others..
  9. 9. A brief background of geospatial data at BirdLifeEndemic Bird Areas - 218 regions identified using species pointlocalities and then delineated into polygonsImportant Bird Areas – programme began in the mid 80s, havenow identified over 10,000 sitesSpecies range maps – In 2000, 1,200 maps digitised, now havemaps for 10,064 species
  10. 10. Other data collectedAll site based information collected within a bespoke web baseddatabase – World Biodiversity Database. Mysql based (limitedspatial capabilities)All species information now switched to the Species InformationService (SIS)Species occurrence data stored within an Access database and afile geodatabase
  11. 11. External data we useGlobal landcover data - GLC 2000, Joint Research Centre (1km),Globcover 2009, ESA (300m)GTOPO, Globe, ETOPO, SRTM elevation data (1km, 90m)World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA)Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) occurrence data
  12. 12. Processing informationArcGIS models and scripts aid in creating analyses andmaintenance e.g.Simple modelling of species range within habitats at specificelevations likely to become more complexSubset data into various products (species range maps) ornational level IBA datasets
  13. 13. Dissemination of dataData has various uses ranging from internal analyses forcartographic output for inclusion into reportsSpecies range maps now served dynamically to each speciesfactsheet on the Datazone section of the BirdLife website
  14. 14. Species maps are also available to the wider public via registrationon the BirdLife websiteSince November 2011, we have had over 600 requests for speciesrange maps (mostly from students and academics but some fromcommercial enterprises such as GIS consultancies, petrochemicaland mineral extraction companies)Species maps are also provided to the EuroGEOSS project via webservices (WMS, WFS)
  15. 15. Current / Future projectsHandbook Birds of the World (splitting taxa to ~13,000spp)Develop two web based mapping portals for Marine IBAsSoaring BirdsBirds In Europe 3 collaboration with European Topic Centre on BiologicalDiversity (European Environment Agency)
  16. 16. Thank you for your attention..