October 15, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 18)

URL:
http://gis.wwfus.org/wildfinder

Rating:
Strong Points: Detailed descriptions of various ecoregions
Weak Points: Website tends to be slow to load, no background information on the species

Summary:

Never again will you have to wonder where in the world you can find the Arabian tiger snake or the Bibron’s keel-scaled boa (if, by chance, you were actually in search of them). Using the World Wildlife Fund’s WildFinder tool, you can search for specific species and obtain a global view of the regions in which they reside. Alternatively, you can search for a specific region to find which species live there. Sadly, the map reveals a shrinking sphere of inhabitance for many species. (This realization is surely one of the reasons why this tool is hosted through the World Wildlife Fund.) I wish that the WildFinder provided background information about each species (there is nothing beyond the scientific classification and threat status of the species), but there is a great deal of information about the various ecoregions of the globe.