Climate change poses a real threat to animal species as they struggle to adapt to a warming planet and changing ecosystems. In fact, scientific research in the past decade has found that the impact of climate change could commit 15 to 37 percent of land species to extinction by 2050.
Organizations like the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are trying to address this threat by improving biodiversity through efforts like its IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. To support those efforts, Microsoft is announcing today that we are forming a new partnership with the IUCN that will combine science conservation and computer technology to enhance the IUCN Red List. The partnership will improve our understanding of species-specific threats by letting users map spatial information on those threats. That data will then be used to extend the IUCN’s models of biodiversity patterns so that it can better define its conversation priorities. The software was developed by Microsoft’s Computational Science Lab in Cambridge, England, and was announced today at the 2012 IUCN World Conservation Congress in South Korea.
As this partnership with the IUCN demonstrates, IT can be an integral part of addressing sustainability and conservation issues around the world by bringing new levels of awareness and understanding about data that will help us better understand the threats to endangered species. As the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, the IUCN is on the forefront of improving biodiversity. At Microsoft we look forward to continuing to apply technology solutions that will enhance the great work that the IUCN is doing.

Read the original blog post by Josh Henretig or read more about this partnership in the press release on EMEA Press Centre and on the Microsoft Research Connections blog.