Sustaining biodiversity and preventing fragmentation, extinction, and natural resource depletion are crucial to conservation of the environment. The ability to use GIS technology as a tool to monitor habitat change, track wildlife demographics, and predict future land and resource use is essential to conservation goals and practices. The spatial and thematic aspects of GIS technology enable users to overlay various data to delineate and predict the future of our resources, land, ocean, plant life, and wildlife. This geoprocessing enables decision makers to implement laws and programs that will protect and sustain the environment and its resources.
GIS is a tool that manages, analyzes, and models data from our environment so that we can make decisions based on that information to better conserve its resources and protect its biodiversity.
Monitoring Protected and Endangered Species
- With every species lost to extinction, the earth loses a valuable component of the biodiversity that supports its environment. GIS offers an indispensable means of tracking threatened animals to help prevent further harm or even extinction. Since habitat analysis is crucial to understanding changes in a species' demographics, the ability of GIS technology to handle the various data of a habitat and create visual depictions gives the user the ability to monitor change and discover important relationships. Understanding threatened species is important in preventing their extinction and revitalizing their populations.
- Conserving wildlife populations often consists of restoring or protecting threatened habitats. The visualization ability of both thematic and statistical data makes GIS technology well suited to monitoring habitats. Once an area is found to be suffering from human disruption, weather, forest fires, or other interferences, it can be targeted as an area for conservation practices to be implemented.
- The earth's biodiversity is its guarantee of survival. When deforestation, extinction, and fragmentation harm this biodiversity, the strength of the environment diminishes. GIS technology enables monitoring of wildlife and their habitats so that threats to biodiversity can be tracked and policies can be implemented to protect threatened areas.
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