[seek-dev] new publicly available high-resolution environmental datasets and species distribution datasets for ENM and biodiversity studies

Jianting Zhang jzhang at lternet.edu
Thu Sep 14 10:12:27 PDT 2006

Hi, SEEKers: 


I recently came across several publicly available environmental layer
datasets and species distribution datasets and thought they might be very
useful for ENM and biodiversity studies in SEEK related project. 


       *Environmental datasets: 

1)       Global monthly min/max temperature, precipitation and 18 Bioclim
parameters at 30 arc-seconds (~1km) resolution:

2)       Global 10 minutes resolution climatology dataset:

3) NASA MODIS global EcoSystem (land cover) dataset at 1 minute resolution

4) NASA MODIS global NDVI dataset at 1 minute resolution (2000-2004
average): http://modis-atmos.gsfc.nasa.gov/NDVI/index.html


*WWF Ecoregion and species datasets 

1) Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World (800+ ecoregions):

2) WildFinder Database: ~30,000 species in four taxa (amphibians, reptiles,
birds, and mammals). The species are linked with ecoregions.


* Nature Serve's species distribution datasets (both points and polygons) 

1)Birds of the Western Hemisphere:
http://www.natureserve.org/getData/birdMaps.jsp (2.18G after uncompresson,
supposedly to be very detailed)

2) World's Amphibians: http://www.natureserve.org/getData/amphibianMaps.jsp

3) Mammals of the Western Hemisphere:


USGS Tree Species Range Maps: 600+ tree species in SHP polygon format:


Implications for SEEK ENM workflows: 

1)      The global datasets are all in lat/lon (unprojected). No need to do
reprojection. The resolutions are fine enough and no interpolation is

2)      The datasets are too huge to be downloaded to client machine (most
of them are at gigabyte level) 

3)      The species distribution data (especially bird data)  can be used to
test ENM workflows extensively

4)      Some of the species distribution data are in polygon format. While
there are a couple potential ways to use them in ENM workflows, some
processing are required. 






Jianting Zhang, PhD

Long-term Ecological Research Network Office


MSC03  2020

1 University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, NM  87131-0001


505-277-0666 (office)

505-277-2541 (fax)


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