NatureServe is leveraging Esri ArcGIS tools and Microsoft cloud computing to generate high-resolution habitat maps for imperilled species – providing critical information for smart conservation action.Learn about NatureServe
Globally, more than one million species are at risk of extinction. Without precise information on where those species are likely to be found, conservationists struggle to prioritise their efforts. Regulations for protecting endangered species inhibit agriculture, housing and infrastructure development in areas where there is uncertainty about the presence of at-risk species.
By integrating biological field data from the NatureServe Network, digital climate and environmental maps and Azure Machine Learning, NatureServe generates predictive habitat maps for thousands of at-risk species, delivering precision conservation at the scale of a nation. When armed with intelligent data, we can reduce negative impacts and more effectively act to conserve our natural heritage.
Mapping at-risk species with AI
NatureServe’s Map of Biodiversity Importance (MoBI) is based on distribution models for a diverse suite of over 2,200 imperilled species. Using four decades of field data and expertise from NatureServe’s Natural Heritage Program network, MoBI delivers precision conservation over vast habitat ranges.
How NatureServe works
Biologists in the NatureServe Network collect field data on at-risk species, which is combined with satellite imagery and other environmental data. Spatial modellers run machine learning to generate predictive maps of species habitat. Web apps support collaborative review by experts. Conservation practitioners can use the data to improve planning and mitigate human impact to at-risk species.
- Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), NatureServe Global Conservation Status: Imperilled (G2); ESA Listing Status: Threatened.
- Piping plover (Charadrius melodus), NatureServe Global Conservation Status: Vulnerable (G3); ESA Listing Status: Endangered (Great Lakes population), Threatened (Atlantic Coast and Northern Great Plains populations). Photo by Casey Weissburg, CC BY-NC 4.0.
- Gray’s lily (Lilium grayi), NatureServe Global Conservation Status: Critically Imperilled (G1). Photo by Annkatrin Rose, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.