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Published July 1, 2020 | Version 003
Dataset Open

A global map of terrestrial habitat types

  • 1. Ecosystems Services and Management Program (ESM), International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
  • 2. Global Mammal Assessment Program, Department of Biology and Biotechnologies, Sapienza University of Rome,Viale dell'Università 32, 00185 Rome, Italy
  • 3. BirdLife International, David Attenborough Building, Pembroke Street, Cambridge CB2 3QZ, UK; Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK
  • 4. BirdLife International, David Attenborough Building, Pembroke Street, Cambridge CB2 3QZ, UK; Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, CambriBirdLife International, David Attenborough Building, Pembroke Street, Cambridge CB2 3QZ, UKdge CB2 3EJ, UK
  • 5. UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), 219 Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0DL, United Kingdom


We provide a global spatially explicit characterization of 47 (version 001) terrestrial habitat types, as defined in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) habitat classification scheme, which is widely used in ecological analyses, including for assessing species’ Area of Habitat. We produced this novel habitat map by creating a global decision tree that intersects the best currently available global data on land cover, climate and land use. The maps broaden our understanding of habitats globally, assist in constructing area of habitat (AOH) refinements and are relevant for broad-scale ecological studies and future IUCN Red List assessments. We hope that these data and outlined framework will spur further development of biodiversity-relevant habitat maps at global scales. An interactive interface helping to navigate the map can be found at on the Naturemap website (

Provided is the code to recreate the map (to made available soon), the global composite image at native -100m Copernicus resolution for level 1 and level 2 and layers of aggregated fractional cover (unit: fraction * 1000) at 1km for level 1 and level 2.


Please cite the published paper and state the used version of the habitat map

Jung, M., Dahal, P.R., Butchart, S.H.M., Donald, P.F., De Lamo, X., Lesiv, M., Kapos, V., Rondinini, C., Visconti, P., (2020). A global map of terrestrial habitat types. Sci. Data 7, 256.


The GEE code to recreate the map will be made available upon publication at ( and will be directly included in future uploads of the map. Asset data used in GEE are directly available from the original sources (see methods), or in the case of the Forest Management layer can be shared upon reasonable request. Users are advised to check the data repository for newer versions of both code and map, as we consider this product a "living map" that can be improved in the future pending better data availability. We plan further updates as Copernicus land cover data becomes available up to 2019 and we also plan to create variants that rely on the potential distribution of land cover ( ) and biomes ( We would like to thank the NatureMap project ( for providing funding and Google for open access to the computational infrastructure that enabled the production of this map. This project has benefited from funding through the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 766417.


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Inspire4Nature – INternational training at the Science-Policy Interface for Researchers in Europe, for Nature 766417
European Commission