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.

GIS tools and recommended base data

IUCN Red List Toolbox for ArcMap (621 MB)                                     

The ArcGIS IUCN Red List Species Mapping Toolbox (2019_08 version).

(Last updated: October 2019)

IUCN Red List Toolbox Instructions (1.4 MB)

Guidance on how to use the IUCN Red List Toolbox. PDF document.

EOO Calculator (53 KB)

Creates a minmum convex polygon to calculate extent of occurrence (EOO). For ArcMap 10.1 and above.

(Last updated: August 2017)

EOO Calculator Instructions      (661 KB)

Guidance on how to use the EOO Calculator tool. 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 the Esri Resource Centre for user support, and access to Esri maps and data and 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 pakages such as rCAT, red, redlistr, etc.

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 Data Viewer Datasets for biodiversity, the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA), ecoregions, and other marine and coastal areas.














































































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