Expert range maps of global mammal distributions harmonised to three taxonomic authorities

Charles J. Marsh, Yanina V. Sica, Connor J. Burgin, Wendy A. Dorman, Robert C. Anderson, Isabel del Toro Mijares, Jessica G. Vigneron, Vijay Barve, Victoria L. Dombrowik, Michelle Duong, Robert Guralnick, Julie A. Hart, J. Krish Maypole, Kira McCall, Ajay Ranipeta, Anna Schuerkmann, Michael A. Torselli, Thomas Lacher, Russell A. Mittermeier, Anthony B. RylandsWes Sechrest, Don E. Wilson, Agustín M. Abba, Luis F. Aguirre, Joaquín Arroyo-Cabrales, Diego Astúa, Andrew M. Baker, Gill Braulik, Janet K. Braun, Jorge Brito, Peter E. Busher, Santiago F. Burneo, M. Alejandra Camacho, Paolo Cavallini, Elisandra de Almeida Chiquito, Joseph A. Cook, Tamás Cserkész, Gábor Csorba, Erika Cuéllar Soto, Valeria da Cunha Tavares, Tim R.B. Davenport, Thomas Deméré, Christiane Denys, Christopher R. Dickman, Mark D.B. Eldridge, Eduardo Fernandez-Duque, Charles M. Francis, Greta Frankham, William L. Franklin, Thales Freitas, J. Anthony Friend, Elizabeth L. Gadsby, Guilherme S.T. Garbino, Philippe Gaubert, Norberto Giannini, Thomas Giarla, Jason S. Gilchrist, Jaime Gongora, Steven M. Goodman, Sharon Gursky-Doyen, Klaus Hackländer, Mark S. Hafner, Melissa Hawkins, Kristofer M. Helgen, Steven Heritage, Arlo Hinckley, Stefan Hintsche, Mary Holden, Kay E. Holekamp, Rodney L. Honeycutt, Brent A. Huffman, Tatyana Humle, Rainer Hutterer, Carlos Ibáñez Ulargui, Stephen M. Jackson, Jan Janecka, Mary Janecka, Paula Jenkins, Rimvydas Juškaitis, Javier Juste, Roland Kays, C. William Kilpatrick, Tigga Kingston, John L. Koprowski, Boris Kryštufek, Tyrone Lavery, Thomas E. Lee, Yuri L.R. Leite, Roberto Leonan M. Novaes, Burton K. Lim, Andrey Lissovsky, Raquel López-Antoñanzas, Adrià López-Baucells, Colin D. MacLeod, Fiona G. Maisels, Michael A. Mares, Helene Marsh, Stefano Mattioli, Erik Meijaard, Ara Monadjem, F. Blake Morton, Grace Musser, Tilo Nadler, Ryan W. Norris, Agustina Ojeda, Nicté Ordóñez-Garza, Ulyses F.J. Pardiñas, Bruce D. Patterson, Ana Pavan, Michael Pennay, Calebe Pereira, Joyce Prado, Helder L. Queiroz, Matthew Richardson, Erin P. Riley, Stephen J. Rossiter, Daniel I. Rubenstein, Dennisse Ruelas, Jorge Salazar-Bravo, Stéphanie Schai-Braun, Cody J. Schank, Christoph Schwitzer, Lori K. Sheeran, Myron Shekelle, Georgy Shenbrot, Pipat Soisook, Sergio Solari, Richard Southgate, Mariella Superina, Andrew B. Taber, Maurício Talebi, Peter Taylor, Thong Vu Dinh, Nelson Ting, Diego G. Tirira, Susan Tsang, Samuel T. Turvey, Raul Valdez, Victor Van Cakenberghe, Geraldine Veron, Janette Wallis, Rod Wells, Danielle Whittaker, Elizabeth A. Williamson, George Wittemyer, John Woinarski, Dietmar Zinner, Nathan S. Upham, Walter Jetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Aim: Comprehensive, global information on species' occurrences is an essential biodiversity variable and central to a range of applications in ecology, evolution, biogeography and conservation. Expert range maps often represent a species' only available distributional information and play an increasing role in conservation assessments and macroecology. We provide global range maps for the native ranges of all extant mammal species harmonised to the taxonomy of the Mammal Diversity Database (MDD) mobilised from two sources, the Handbook of the Mammals of the World (HMW) and the Illustrated Checklist of the Mammals of the World (CMW). Location: Global. Taxon: All extant mammal species. Methods: Range maps were digitally interpreted, georeferenced, error-checked and subsequently taxonomically aligned between the HMW (6253 species), the CMW (6431 species) and the MDD taxonomies (6362 species). Results: Range maps can be evaluated and visualised in an online map browser at Map of Life ( and accessed for individual or batch download for non-commercial use. Main conclusion: Expert maps of species' global distributions are limited in their spatial detail and temporal specificity, but form a useful basis for broad-scale characterizations and model-based integration with other data. We provide georeferenced range maps for the native ranges of all extant mammal species as shapefiles, with species-level metadata and source information packaged together in geodatabase format. Across the three taxonomic sources our maps entail, there are 1784 taxonomic name differences compared to the maps currently available on the IUCN Red List website. The expert maps provided here are harmonised to the MDD taxonomic authority and linked to a community of online tools that will enable transparent future updates and version control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-992
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Biogeography
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022


  • GIS
  • Mammalia
  • biodiversity
  • biogeography
  • conservation planning
  • mapping
  • species distributions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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