A world-first data analysis platform has been launched to understand the impacts of the climate crisis on native species. 

EcoCommons is an Australian-built digital innovation platform to simplify the use of data and analytics to speed up environmental research and help protect and restore Australia’s natural world.

The platform can be used to help conserve Australian native species by identifying where plants and animals live now and where they may live in the future, where their habitat is and when it might disappear, and how they will respond to a changing climate.  

It is intended to inform plans to mitigate predicted impacts such as identifying a location for a new reserve. 

In Australia, many researchers find an absence of suitable tools to address ecological and environmental modelling challenges while technical barriers, including the need for coding skills and powerful computers, mean it can take months or years to analyse data. 

EcoCommons aims to break down these barriers by bringing vast amounts of data together into one platform with simple-to-use tools that quickly generate meaningful information about the environment, and lead to solutions to enviro-socio-economic problems.  

The analytical tools available at EcoCommons have already been demonstrated by the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) to analyse animal tracking data and capture migratory patterns of Yellowtail Kingfish (Seriola lalandi) and Bull Shark (Carcharhinus leucas).  

This kind of information produced by analytical models could then be used when, for example, setting fisheries targets and regulations, or planning for their protection during their migratory journeys.  

It is also likely that climate change will impact migratory species and these kinds of models could be used as the foundation to predict future migration patterns expected under climate change. 

EcoCommons is free to use by the Australian researcher community and more information is available on the EcoCommons website