Imagine a database of 100,000 records of plants, animals, and ecosystems, constantly being reviewed and updated by a network of more than 1,000 natural heritage experts—now imagine having that information available at your fingertips! NatureServe Explorer is your guide to the diversity of life on Earth—a free, online tool that syncs directly from NatureServe’s unparalleled database of biodiversity information for the Americas. Whether you use it for work or simply out of curiosity to better understand our natural world, Explorer is now more powerful and easier to use than ever.
NatureServe Explorer has been a trusted resource for conservation professionals, nonprofits, academics, and enthusiasts for two decades, supplying detailed information and maps that can be tailored to meet any user’s needs. Government agencies in the United States and Canada rely on NatureServe data to protect species under the Endangered Species Act and Species at Risk Act, manage precious habitat, and inform conservation strategies such as designation of protected lands. The IUCN Red List, a global source for biodiversity information, utilizes NatureServe’s data to report on species and ecosystems in the Americas. Even Amazon’s Alexa uses NatureServe Explorer to answer questions about endangered species (try it for yourself!).
What makes NatureServe data unique compared to other sources is quality and reliability. We have developed a rigorous set of standards and protocols for collecting information in the field. Our international Network of botanists, zoologists, and ecologists follow these methods to ensure that all records, from the Arctic or the Gulf Cost, can be compared equally. Field data collected by the Network is entered into our central database, which syncs continuously to Explorer so that the information available on the site is always up to date.
An important facet of NatureServe’s data products is our conservation status assessments. Using data on population size, range size, habitat intactness, threats, and other factors, our scientists assess and rank species and ecosystems on how secure or vulnerable they are at regional and global scales. These ranks help conservation groups, corporations, government agencies, and landowners prioritize actions that protect the species and ecosystems that need it most.
Soon, NatureServe Explorer will expand to include photo galleries and the documented distributions of species and ecosystems, as well as the predicted suitable habitat of particularly at-risk species.
Give NatureServe Explorer a spin to learn more about the species and ecosystems that exist where you live, which ones are most at risk, and how you can take action to help them!