In their most recent issue, Science published a feature entitled “Getting the big picture of biodiversity” by Elizabeth Pennisi, which details recent trends in the use of remote sensing tools to help study ecosystem health and biodiversity. The article provides an overview of several projects that utilize remote sensing data, including the BGC Center’s flagship Map of Life project. Pennisi notes that the Map of Life “draws from 600 million observations worldwide of 44,351 species of vertebrates, plants, and insects”, and that the tool can be used to “predict population declines or detect new threats to at-risk species”.
The article also features quotes from BGC Center Director Walter Jetz regarding the value of very high resolution satellite imagery in biodiversity monitoring. Acquiring animal tracking data from satellites is a major goal of the Max Planck-Yale Center for Biodiversity Movement and Global Change (MPYC) and its collaboration with the Icarus initiative.
Read the full article here: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.acx9637
Explore Map of Life here: https://mol.org/
Read about the Icarus initiative here: https://www.icarus.mpg.de/28056/about-icarus