Friday, May 19, 2017

Environmental Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

National Geographic "Africa Threatened"

National Geographic 2011

National Geographic poaching series

National Geographic poaching series

National Geographic poaching series

 World Wildlife Fund

University of Vermont Disappearing Bees

Vox Great Barrier Reef

World Atlas of Great Apes and Their Conservation
Ball State University Libraries Atlas Collection

Endangered Species Day on the Map

Today is recognized as “Endangered Species Day.”  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service marks this day to recognize the national conservation efforts to protect our nation’s endangered species and their habitats. 

According to Time magazine, conservation efforts became popular in the 1970’s.  The U.S. Endangered Species Act was passed in 1972, and many species have been saved from extinction—including the bald eagle.  But as scientists document more plants and animals, the list of endangered species grows, doubling in the past two decades.

The risk facing some of the “most recognizable animals is growing in urgency.”  Poaching continues to be a problem in Africa with thousands of elephants and white rhinoceros killed every year.  According to National Geographic, in 2011 poaching hit the highest level in a decade, with the greatest impact in the central Africa region.  The illegal trade in ivory and the horns of the rhinoceros is a major threat.  (Click maps above to enlarge).

The World Wildlife Fund created a “Wildlife Crime Scorecard” that grades countries’ commitments to fighting illegal trade of rhino horn, ivory, and tiger parts.  India and Nepal have made “some progress in key aspects of compliance and enforcement.”  The Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo received failing scores in “key aspects of compliance and enforcement” as countries of origin in the trade of ivory.  Myanmar and Thailand received failing scores as destination markets in the illegal trade.

The World Wildlife Fund and other conservation efforts have been successful in the protection and management of the southern white rhinoceros.  They are classified as “near threatened,” and over 20,000 exist throughout four countries in Africa.  However, the northern white rhinoceros had about 2,000 existing in 1960.  But due to widespread poaching, there are only three northern white rhinos left on earth.  All three live in captivity, and reproduction efforts have been unsuccessful.

According to the Time article, other smaller species are also threatened.  The rusty patched bumblebee was officially listed as an endangered species in March of this year.  The species has faced an 87% decline since the 1990’s.  Other honeybees are also threatened due mostly to loss of habitat and available pollination sources.

Coral reef in oceans around the world are also facing endangerment due to pollution and the warming of ocean waters.  These reefs are critical to the biodiversity of the oceans and play a key role in maintaining fisheries.

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) provides access to dozens of maps and other cartographic resources for projects related to endangered species and the environment.  The Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library includes several updated atlases about the environment that include unique maps, photographs, charts, and data for research and learning projects.

For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

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