Movement and distribution data

Remote sensing main page




Click here to jump to local scale data sources


Global coverage

  • BioGeomancer is a web interface that aims to enhance georeferencing quality of natural history databases. Search for a location and BioGeomancer gives you the location and a location-specific error estimate. Inaturalist provides a useful online application of BioGeomancer (you'll had to add a observation to see the action).
  • Movebank is a global database of animal tracking data, which also allows you to explore environmental responses of tracked animals via a range of remotely sensed indicators.
  • OzTrack is a web-based platform for analysing and visualising individual-based animal location data, to assess animal movement and estimate space-use for individually-marked animals.
  • Species presence records and distribution maps can be obtained via GBIF, EOL, and Inaturalist (you can, and should, upload your own records on iNaturalist).
  • Tropicos (for vascular plants), the World Information Network on Biodiversity, and speciesLink are also good sources for global species presence data.
  • The IUCN has made their collection of over 40,000 species distribution maps available. You can directly download maps for mammals, amphibians, reptiles, some fishes, corals, seagrass and mangroves. However, you will need to request bird maps from Birdlife International.
  • Distribution maps for a great number of birds species can be obtained through Birdlife International. You can also access maps for birds of each country through Birdlife's country profiles.
  • WWF offers an online database of species distributions through WildFinder, either as the entire Microsoft Access database, or through an interactive map.
  • Lifemapper is a comprehensive database of locations for voucher specimens.
  • NatureServe has produced distribution maps for a range of species occuring in the western hemisphere, including pollinators, birds, mammals, and freshwater fishes. Distribution maps for selected plants, vertebrates, and invertebrates are also searchable through NatureServe's Infonatura and Explorer.
  • Verinet aims to provide a central database of vertebrate distribution records, searchable via the Verinet Portal or Classic Portals.
  • Manisnet aims to provide a central database of mammalian distribution records, searchable via the Manisnet Portal.
  • ORNIS aims to provide a central database of avian distribution records, searchable via the ORNIS2 Portal or Classic Portal.
  • is a global seabird information portal that also provides some seabird movement data, through the Seabird Information Network website.
  • Birdlife International's Global Procellariiform Tracking Database is another resource where users could potentially find useful seabird movement and location data.
  • Global fisheries data can be obtained through the UN FAO, including species distribution maps.
  • Fishnet aims to provide a central database of fish distribution records.
  • OBIS aims to provide a central database of marine species distribution records, searchable via the searchable OBIS Mapper.
  • TOPP, or Tagging of Pacific Predators, maps movement of Pacific Predators. Links to scientific publications from the data shown are also provided.
  • NatureServe maintains a global dataset for amphibians, obtainable through the IUCN.
  • Herpnet aims to provide a central database of herpentological collections data, searchable via the Herpnet Portal or Herpnet2 Portal.
  • Paleoportal aims to provide a central database of paleontological data. It doesn't look like there's a lot of spatial resources currently available.
  • NEOMAP is a database system for paleomammalogy, with links to the Miocene Mammal Mapping Project, or the Quaternary Faunal Mapping Project.
  • Neotoma is a database for fauna and flora covering the Pliocene-Quaternary periods. You can view spatial information for pollen, mammals, mollusks, and plants at the Neotoma Explorer.
  • University of California-Berkeley has an incredibly comprehensive list of online plant and vegetation distribution maps.



Local coverage

North America

  • Viewer for tracks and habitat maps for multiple marine species through NOAA's coastal services center; viewer here; raw data here
  • The USGS' Biodiversity Information Serving our Nation (BISON) portal allows users to access, explore, and download U.S. species occurrence data from participating data providers.
  • The North Carolina Heritage Program offers distribution maps of rare plants and animals (Natural Heritage Element Occurences) through the NHP Map Viewer through the NHP database, or NC One Map.
  • INBio (National Biodiversity Institute) provides distribution data for Costa Rican wildlife.
  • CBIG (Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility) offers location records for Canadian fauna and flora.





  • Southeastern Asian Mammal databank, for mammal distributions in Southeastern Asia





  • The European Natural History Specimen Information Network (ENHSIN) offers distribution information for European fauna and flora.



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