PREDICTS: Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems

A hummingbird with pink neck feathers on a branch

Anna's hummingbird (Calypte anna) © Fireglo/Shutterstock

Using data for conservation, prediction and policy

We are losing biodiversity at an unparalleled rate in response to deforestation, hunting, overfishing, invasive species, pollution and climate change.

The PREDICTS project analyses ecological studies from around the world to understand how human activities - especially those related to land use change and intensification - are changing biodiversity. 

This biodiversity change is shown as the Biodiversity Intactness Index, an estimated percentage of the original number of species that remain and their abundance in any given area, despite human impacts.

The biodiversity crisis

Biodiversity, or the variety of animal and plant life, is fundamental to human life on Earth.

The decline in animal and plant species is not only an environmental issue but a development, economic, ethical and moral one. 

Biodiversity loss also threatens to undermine most of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. 

Land use change

The most significant cause of biodiversity loss on land in the last several decades has been land use change.

Common changes in land use include unsustainable agriculture, logging and residential or commercial development.

Changing land use can completely or partially remove the environment where a species lives or reduce the quality of the environment.

Monitoring the diversity of life

We need to understand and monitor biodiversity loss in our endeavour to reverse global damage to life on Earth.

Biodiversity indicators are a crucial measure which scientists and policymakers can use to keep track of biodiversity loss. 

These tools help to ensure the success of policies and practices designed to conserve and restore biodiversity.  

Project summary

Focus: PREDICTS uses data on local biodiversity around the world to model how human activities affect biological communities. 

The Biodiversity Intactness Index estimates how much, on average, of a region’s natural biodiversity is still left.

The Biodiversity Trends Explorer

View and download the Biodiversity Intactness Index (BII) for an area. Predict how the BII will respond to future land use change. 

Plants Under Pressure

Assessing threats to plants and monitoring the state of the plant world.