The team behind the Columbia River Basin Biodiversity Atlas is pleased to announce that, after much hard work and collaboration, a new version of the Atlas is now available for everyone to experience at: www.biodiversityatlas.org.
Originally focused on the East Kootenay, the Atlas footprint now extends over most of the Columbia Basin. Currently, 32 species of management concern, three ecosystems, and three related topics or “influences” (conservation, restoration, history) are featured.
The Atlas helps improve conservation planning and decision making by providing science-based information in an easy-to-understand format. Through text-based profiles and the latest in Geographical Information System (GIS) technology, the Atlas links biodiversity information to specific locations within the Basin.
Ian Parfitt, project coordinator, sees the Atlas’ value as such: “The diversity of nature in the Basin is amazing. It’s important that people have an understanding of the abundance & distribution of native species in our region, and that these species are carefully considered in planning processes. The Atlas helps people appreciate our region’s rich biodiversity, and helps plan for its ongoing health and survival.”
John Krebs, Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program crew lead, adds: “The Atlas is an excellent resource for the region. It will really help improve access to data, not just for decision makers but for anyone who has an interest in the environment. It is a great, dynamic tool that paints a rich picture illustrating local species and habitat values."
The Atlas has been a collaborative initiative since its beginning a decade ago. Always evolving, the Atlas team continues to seek out additional partners for general help and/or data sharing. This approach is essential to delivering high-quality information on biodiversity in the Basin, which will help both casual and scientific users and, ultimately, the fish, animals and plant life calling the area home.
Submitted by Abaca Communications.
First published on February 08, 2011