RESOLVE Ecoregions 2017 (RESOLVE/ECOREGIONS/2017)

The RESOLVE Ecoregions dataset, updated in 2017, offers a depiction of the 846 terrestrial ecoregions that represent our living planet. View the stylized map at http://ecoregions2017.appspot.com/ or in Earth Engine.

Ecoregions, in the simplest definition, are ecosystems of regional extent.
Specifically, ecoregions represent distinct assemblages of biodiversity―all
taxa, not just vegetation―whose boundaries include the space required to
sustain ecological processes. Ecoregions provide a useful basemap for
conservation planning in particular because they draw on natural, rather
than political, boundaries, define distinct biogeographic assemblages and
ecological habitats within biomes, and assist in representation of Earth’s
biodiversity.

This dataset is based on recent advances in biogeography - the science
concerning the distribution of plants and animals. The original ecoregions
dataset has been widely used since its introduction in 2001, underpinning the
most recent analyses of the effects of global climate change on nature by
ecologists to the distribution of the world’s beetles to modern conservation
planning.

The 846 terrestrial ecoregions are grouped into 14 biomes and 8 realms. Six
of these biomes are forest biomes and remaining eight are non-forest biomes.
For the forest biomes, the geographic boundaries of the ecoregions
(Dinerstein et al., 2017) and protected areas (UNEP-WCMC 2016) were
intersected with the Global Forest Change data (Hansen et al. 2013) for the
years 2000 to 2015, to calculate percent of habitat in protected areas and
percent of remaining habitat outside protected areas. Likewise, the
boundaries of the non-forest ecoregions and protected areas (UNEP-WCMC 2016)
were intersected with Anthropogenic Biomes data (Anthromes v2) for the year
2000 (Ellis et al., 2010) to identify remaining habitats inside and outside
the protected areas. Each ecoregion has a unique ID, area (sq. degrees), and NNH
(Nature Needs Half) categories 1-4. NNH categories are based on percent of
habitat in protected areas and percent of remaining habitat outside
protected areas.

  1. Half Protected: More than 50% of the total ecoregion area is already
    protected.
  2. Nature Could Reach Half: Less than 50% of the total ecoregion area is
    protected but the amount of remaining unprotected natural habitat could
    bring protection to over 50% if new conservation areas are added to the
    system.
  3. Nature Could Recover: The amount of protected and unprotected natural
    habitat remaining is less than 50% but more than 20%. Ecoregions in this
    category would require restoration to reach Half Protected.
  4. Nature Imperiled: The amount of protected and unprotected natural habitat
    remaining is less than or equal to 20%. Achieving half protected is not
    possible in the short term and efforts should focus on conserving
    remaining, native habitat fragments.

The updated Ecoregions 2017 is the most-up-to-date (as of February 2018) dataset on remaining
habitat in each terrestrial ecoregion. It was released to chart progress towards
achieving the visionary goal of Nature Needs Half, to protect half of all
the land on Earth to save a living terrestrial biosphere.

Note - a number of ecoregions are very complex polygons with over a million
vertices, such as Rock & Ice. These ecoregions were split when necessary,
with attributes like Eco_ID being preserved. If you’d like to see all
ecoregions that have been split, please run this script.

Providers

RESOLVE Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions (producer, licensor)
Google Earth Engine (host)
STAC Version 0.6.0
Keywords biodiversity, conservation, ecoregions, global, habitats, protection, resolve
License proprietary
Temporal Extent 4/4/2017, 5:00:00 PM - 4/4/2017, 5:00:00 PM
Citation [Bioscience, An Ecoregions-Based Approach to Protecting Half the Terrestrial Realm](https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/67/6/534/3102935) DOI: [https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/bix014](https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/bix014)
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