Spatial Data & Mapping Resources

GIS Tools, Software and Recommended Base data

A range of GIS tools and resources are available below to help assessors create distribution maps in a format appropriate for publication in an IUCN Red List assessment. This page will be updated with new tools as and when they are created. 

For all enquiries about spatial data, please contact the IUCN Red List GIS Unit.


Mapping Standards and Data Quality for IUCN Red List Spatial Data

The main guidance document explaining the required standards for distribution maps being published on The IUCN Red List.

GIS tools and recommended base data

IUCN Red List Toolbox for ArcMap (589 MB)                                     

The ArcGIS IUCN Red List Species Mapping Toolbox (2021_05 version).

(Last updated: May 2021)

IUCN Red List Toolbox Instructions (1.7 MB)

Guidance on how to use the IUCN Red List Toolbox (2021_05 version). PDF document.

EOO Calculator (50 KB)


Creates a minimum convex polygon to calculate extent of occurrence (EOO). (Toolbox version 1.5)  For ArcMap 10.3 and above.

(Last updated: May 2021)

EOO Calculator Instructions      (927 KB)

Guidance on how to use the EOO Calculator tool (version 1.5). PDF document.

Mapbatcher Toolbox for ArcMap    (17 MB)                                       

The Mapbatcher is used to create multiple static distribution maps using Red List spatial data. This zip file contains the Mapbatcher toolbox  (2020 version), template ArcMap documents (ArcMap 10.7 and 10.5) and the toolbox instructions as a pdf.

(Last updated: August 2020)

Mapbatcher Toolbox Instructions  (1.1 MB)

Guidance on how to use the Mapbatcher_2020 toolbox and associated ArcMap documents. PDF document.

Basedata (533 MB)

A geodatabase containing the shapefiles and rasters listed below, excluding the empty species shapefiles and HydroBASINS. ArcMap 10.5 version.

(Last updated: August 2019)

Individual basedata shapefiles, rasters and geodatabases:

Software and online mapping tools

Freshwater Mapping Application (FWMA)

A free, online mapping application developed to help users create distribution maps for inland water species, highlighting occurrence in HydroBASIN areas.

Freshwater Mapping Application User Manual

Guidance on how to use the FWMA. PDF document.

Esri website

The Esri website provides GIS Mapping Software (to purchase), a free trial for ArcGIS for Desktop, access to Esri Support, to Esri maps and data and to training.

Geospatial Modelling Environment (GME) website

GME provides a suite of spatial data analysis and modelling tools.

QGIS website

QGIS offers free and open source GIS desktop software.

XTools website

XTools have develpoed a comprehensive set of tools for vector spatial data.


GeoCAT is a free online tool for mapping distributions using point data. Developed by RBG Kew.

The Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN)

CRAN provides access to up-to-date versions of code and documentation for R. Here you can get access to packages such as rCAT, red, redlistr, etc.

Tool Profiles

Brief overviews of some tools developed to aid mapping of spatial data and estimation of Red List metrics such as EOO and AOO, plus developer information, links to help files, support networks and associated research publications.




EOO Calculator

Freshwater Mapping Application (FWMA)





Data providers

Blue Habitats website

A portal for information on the global distribution of marine habitats.

Free GIS Data website

Access to over 300 sites providing freely available geogaphic datasets.

Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) website GBIF provides free and open access to biodiversity data.
Wiki GIS Data Sources A list of GIS data sources providing information datasets for use in GIS and spatial databases. Provided by Wikipedia.
WWF Conservation Science Data and Tools WWF provides access to their datasets, including data for marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecoregions.
UNEP-WCMC Ocean Data Viewer Datasets for biodiversity, the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA), ecoregions, and other marine and coastal areas.














































































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