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enVision 15(1): Jan - Mar 1999
Earth Systems Science
Programming Tools and Environments
SDSC Research
VRML model of bird population distribution
Section Contents
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The Front Cover (40k JPEG)
The VRML model of Mexico shows predicted distribution of the bird Trogon mexicanus, or Mountain Trogon. Biological data points (pins) were contributed from the collections of 24 museums in North America and Europe, and the predicted probability distribution for the species (colored terrain) uses environmental data including the climate and vegetation of Mexico from ecological studies conducted by Mexico's national biodiversity commission (CONABIO). Details on the analysis are reported in A. Townsend Peterson, Adolpho G Navarro-Sigüenza, and Hesiquito Benítez-Díaz (1996), "The need for continued scientific collecting; a geographic analysis of Mexican bird specimens," IBIS 140:288-294. For more on how NPACI is advancing such biological-scale process modeling, see the story in this issue.