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A new online tool to help with Red List assessments
GeoCAT map editor
The GeoCAT map editor, illustrating multiple data sources and the metadata window allowing users to view the underlying data for each point.

The GIS Unit, based in the Herbarium at Kew, have released a new online tool to help with Red List assessments.

The GeoCAT tool (geospatial conservation assessment tool) is designed to produce rapid species-level conservation assessments based on IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. GeoCAT is an update from the conservation assessment tools (CAT) extension for ArcView which GIS released previously. The updated tool is now web-based and is freely available for use, making it more accessible to our partners and collaborators around the world.

The tool also uses the Google Maps environment, making it familiar and easy to use. A powerful extension of the tool is a link to the specimen data repository of GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility), giving access to millions of data points supplied by institutions across the world. The tool uses specimen or observation data to calculate a preliminary assessment based on geographic measures used in the IUCN criteria.

GeoCAT is a first step toward streamlining the Red List process.

Item from Steve Bachman (Species Conservation Assessment Officer, RBG Kew)
Kew Scientist, issue 42

Article reference:

Bachman, S., Moat, J., Hill, A., de la Torre, J. & Scott, B. (2011). Supporting Red List threat assessments with GeoCAT: Geospatial Conservation Assessment Tool. Zookeys 150:117-126.

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