GeoCAT – Geospatial Conservation Assessment Tool

GeoCAT is a web tool that harnesses primary biological data for semi-automated IUCN Red List assessment and analysis.

GeoCAT tool

Kew is a world-leading institution for 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, which are equally applicable to other major groups, for example mammals, birds or invertebrates.

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 (such as herbarium voucher 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 freely 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.


  • Development of GeoCAT and associate metrics, which offers a consistent, transparent and data-driven analytical method that can be used to provide baselines in threat status of species from which changes and trends can be monitored.
Project Leader

Justin F. Moat


Steven P. Bachman

Tim Wilkinson

Funded By


  • Initial beta version released (2010) with publication in 2011.
  • Stable release of tool released March 2014.
  • Updates to analysis (change analysis added), additional algorithms and metrics will be implemented.
  • Updates to data sources (multiple sources added March 2014), additional sources to be added.
  • Training materials to be released and updated as needed.



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 DOI:10.3897/zookeys.150.2109

Bachman, S. & Moat, J. (2012)

GeoCAT – an open source tool for rapid Red List assessments

BGCI Vol 9, No 1

IUCN (2001)

IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1

IUCN Species Survival Commission. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: 30 pp

IUCN (2011)

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Related links

GeoCAT (use Firefox or Google Chrome to view)

GeoCAT help

GeoCAT data layers


GeoCAT links

GeoCAT documents

GeoCAT glossary