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Conservation Data

What Is Conservation Data?

Conservation data refers to the collection of all information that supports the protection of plants, animals, and natural resources.

Where Does Conservation Data Come From?

Satellites and GPS trackers are where most conservation data comes from. Wild animal tagging also provides crucial information about species and biomes. However, governments and researchers also provide such data as agricultural output, species prevalence, poaching and illegal fishing activity, and more.

What Types of Columns/Attributes Should I Expect When Working with This Data?

Most of this data comes in the form of maps, though you will also be able to download CSV and JSON file types.

However, note that many biologists work with R, so to dig into dataset details, it would help to have some familiarity with this programming language.

What Is Conservation Data Used For?

The main purpose of this data category is to advance the aim of conservation—of biomes, of species, of the earth as a whole.

The advancement of research and education is the secondary goal of this data.

How Should I Test the Quality of This Data?

Aside from ensuring the quality of your remote sensors and update feeds, you may not have much data quality assessment to do. That is to say, government agencies provide data management plans to organizations working with them. There are also machine learning programs like biogeo in R that assesses and cleanses the data in your conservation dataset.

At the end of the day, however, you should simply focus on accuracy and cleanliness. Put simply, for a data category with so much interest and so much relying on it, this becomes the most crucial aspect of this data quality.

Interesting Case Studies and Blogs to Look Into

Wiley Online Library: Biogeo: an R package for assessing and improving data quality of occurrence record datasets
EPA: Data Quality Assessment: A Reviewer’s Guide

Tangible Examples of Impact

Conservation culturomics focuses on the study of human-nature interactions through the analysis of digital data, and it has found important application in conservation science. iEcology [focuses] on studies of ecological patterns and processes based on digitally stored ecological data, generated for other purposes. “These two research fields are essentially mining digital data generated by people as part of their daily lives. This provides us with new insights regarding aquatic systems at low sampling costs and high spatio-temporal resolution,” explains Ricardo Correia, researcher at the Helsinki University, another author of the study.

Phys Org: Emerging digital tools for marine and freshwater conservation

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