Esri and the National Audubon Society are working on an initiative to provide geospatial data and map production abilities to Audubon’s 467 chapters, 47 education centers, and all 22 US state offices. Audubon will meld Esri’s cutting-edge GIS mapping technology with the latest scientific species data to study and reduce bird habitat losses.
Each Audubon state office, nature center and chapter will receive Esri’s ArcGIS software and access to a vast library of the latest authoritative data and scientific research via Esri’s GIS cloud platform, ArcGIS Online. Audubon will use the platform to study birds and other species by combining years of field data collected by Audubon scientists as well as government, academic, and wildlife protection nonprofits sources.
“Esri transformed the face – or rather, the map – of the conservation movement two years ago with its incredibly generous donation of licenses, training and software to Audubon,” said Audubon president and CEO David Yarnold. “We couldn’t do what we do without Esri’s tools and support. From winning protection of 11 million acres in Alaska’s national petroleum reserve area, to bringing partners together to protect Pennsylvania’s Kittatinny Ridge, we rely on Esri’s tools. ArcGIS helps us answer tough questions, democratize data, and create a culture of collaboration. And now, as we roll out this technology even more widely across the Audubon network, we know that conservation results are going to increase significantly, thanks to Esri’s partnership and generosity.”
All Audubon offices will be sorting through massive amounts of cloud-based data about bird and other species’ ranges, food sources, and shifts in bird demographics. GIS will enable them to combine this data with habitat, water, geology and land ownership data to study patterns and relationships. They can then assess changes and study environmental impacts on bird populations at local, national, and international levels.
“The end value of technology comes from people adopting it,” said Jack Dangermond, president of Esri. “Our work with the National Audubon Society allows chapters to be the principal consultants for the public, provide advice and show important bird information on web maps. They can work with other conservation organizations to forward science.”
The largest, longest-running animal census on the planet is the Audubon Christmas Bird Count. Every winter, about 70,000 people join this famous citizen science project to compile and submit count data about local bird populations. This bird count has now been added to the National Audubon Society’s geodatabase. The 2013 count will be mapped with GIS and made available on an interactive website.
[Source: Esri press release]