GeoCAT – Geospatial Conservation Assessment Tool
GeoCAT is a web tool that harnesses primary biological data for semi-automated IUCN Red List assessment and analysis.
Kew is a world-leading institution with regard to plant species conservation assessments (it is a global custodian of plant conservation assessments), both in terms of numbers of plants assessed and in developing the techniques to carry out these assessments (equally applicable to other major groups, e.g. mammals and birds).
An essential component of plant conservation is to effectively identify which species and which parts of the world are under the greatest threat. At present there is a deficit of effective tools to deliver these assessments in a rapid, repeatable and auditable way. Furthermore, there are few tools that take primary biodiversity data (e.g. herbarium vouchers specimens) and use them to drive analysis such as measures of a species range. GeoCAT has been developed to fill this gap and specifically provides a tool to harness primary biodiversity data for application of the IUCN Red List system for conservation assessments.
By making this tool available through the internet, conservationists will have ease of access to a quick, quantifiable and repeatable species conservation assessment tool without the overheads of a full GIS with its associated learning curve and costs.
A beta version of the tool has been developed and is available here:
Further developments of the tool are planned including the integration with other data sources, and the inclusion of data layers in kml/kmz format. From this platform could be added many useful enhancements in the future.
Key publications 2006-2011
- Bachman, S., Moat, J., Hill, A., de la Torre, J. Scott, B. (----). Supporting Red List threat assessments with GeoCAT: Geospatial Conservation Assessment Tool. Zookeys (in press, Oct 2011).
Project partners and collaborators
IUCN Red List Office, Cambridge
ViBRANT – EU FP7