Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Where to Discover New Life

If you've ever dreamed of increasing the pool of knowledge by discovering a new species of animal then I have the map for you. The Map of Life's new Discovery Potential layer uses knowledge of the current known species existing in different habitats around the world to predict where new species might be discovered. 

The Discovery Potential map includes four different layers which visualize the potential of discovering new species of mammals, birds, reptiles or amphibians around the world. In general tropical forests have the highest potential for the discovery of new animal species. Which is one of the reasons that it is important that we protect the rain forests of Brazil, Indonesia, Madagascar and Colombia from further deforestation. 

The Map of Life includes other map layers which help to show where in the world animal habitats most need protection. For example, the Map of Life's Biodiversity Patterns section provides heat maps showing species richness around the world for birds and mammals. These biodiversity maps also show areas where some form of conservation protection already exists. The maps can therefore be used to identify areas where species richness is at risk and where habitat conservation protection is lacking or failing. 

You can explore the diversity of an animal species in any country by selecting an area on the Map Of Life Regions map (in the USA and Canada you can explore down to state or province level). If you click on a country on the map you can view a breakdown of the number of bird, mammal and reptile species found in the selected country. If you select the Map of Life Species tab then you can view the a habitat range map for the selected species, showing the areas of the world where that species lives.

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