Wikipedia:WikiProject Ecoregions

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
WikiProject Ecoregions
CategoryWikiProject Ecoregions
Wikimedia CommonsCommons:Category:Ecoregions Ecoregions
Project banner template{{WikiProject Ecoregions}}
Userbox{{User WikiProject Ecoregions}}
AssessmentWikipedia:WikiProject Ecoregions/Assessment
Popular pagesWikipedia:WikiProject Ecoregions/Popular pages

Welcome to WikiProject Ecoregions. This is a group dedicated to organizing Wikipedia's ecology and geography articles in terms of ecoregions. If you would like to join us, please add your name to the list of project members!

Strategy and scope[edit]

An ecoregion, sometimes called a bioregion, is "a relatively large area of land or water that contains a geographically distinct assemblage of natural communities." Ecoregions are an obvious and objective way to understand physical geography. They also enable organization of ecology and climate data, including ranges of animals and plants.

This WikiProject will create articles on all the terrestrial, marine, and freshwater ecoregions on Earth using a consistent naming scheme.

Link to these ecoregion articles when you need to describe broad-scale ecology. This may be from articles on protected areas, mountains, rivers, lakes, and countries.

The project will allow users to navigate logically from the entire planet Earth down into the ecozones and ecoregions, and their bordering rivers, seas, and oceans.

Copyright review (August 2021)[edit]

The ecoregion articles depend heavily on information from the World Wildlife Fund. WWF has placed strict terms of conditions (updated March 21, 2021) on the use of their web site, including:

  • Linking to the WWF site is prohibited without prior permission. (“If you would like to link another Web site to this Site, you may only do so if you obtain WWF's prior permission.”)
  • Use of the terms “World Wildlife Federation” and “WWF” are prohibited, as is the use of these terms in ‘hidden tags’, which would include Wikipedia templates, reference links, and WikiData ID's.
  • The whole site is copyrighted with an explicit prohibition of commercial use, which means Wikipedia's CC BY-SA cannot be supported

Obviously the first thing to keep in mind is that direct quotations from the site are out of the question. I have started a review of the 866 ecoregion articles using the Copyvio Detector, with checkmarks in the ecoregion tracking list, column named “CRChk?” for status updates.

I will also seek permission from WWF for permission to link to their site, and to use their name and initials in passing in the articles and links. But because of their non-commercial requirement, we have to be ready for a refusal that will require scrubbing WW* from our ecoregion articles. Or does anyone know of link/name permission that might have been formally granted to Wikipedia in the past?

WW* is listed as an “author” on the Encyclopedia of the Earth site (terms of use), which carries a CC-BY-SA 3.0 notice (“unless otherwise noted”) at the bottom of their pages. But serious Wikipedia editors have questioned that license's documentation for Wikipedia purposes. And in any event the EOE terms of use appears to pass through some of WW* organizational limits. I will check with EOE on the status of WW* content on their site. We may have to make some article adjustments for EOE also.

Sorry to bring this up, but those of us who put a lot of work into ecoregion articles don’t want to find it all lost in a mass deletion. The WW* and EOE do solid work and are important to the study of ecoregions. For us, the moral of the story is to respect their copyright wishes, keep our articles clean, and to diversify our reference links to more sources in the scientific community. Every-leaf-that-trembles (talk) 16:37, 21 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Open tasks[edit]

We now have articles for all of the WWF terrestrial ecoregions – about 865 depending on definitions. A good base to work on! Here are some important next steps:

Upgrade stubs[edit]

There are currently 41 stubs (August 2021). To see which ones they are, go to the Project's full checklist: A checklist of Terrestrial Ecoregions on EN-Wikipedia . Click twice on the "Status" column header to bring the stubs to the top. You can use the suggested references in the right hand column to get information for the articles.

Create ecoregion-specific subsections in "redirect" articles[edit]

About 90 of the ecoregions have boundaries similar to well-known geographic areas. For example, the 'Aleutian Islands tundra' ecoregion covers the same islands as the Aleutian Islands article. So the ecoregion link is a Redirect to the main article. Two things need to be checked on these ecoregions: (a) Do the ecoregion and main article subject really refer to the same area? If not, a separate ecoregion article may be warranted. (b) Is there an 'ecoregion' subsection in the main article? If not, one should be added, so that basic information about the ecoregion can be noted: realm, biome, WWF ID#, area in km2, whether it is a Global200 ecoregion, a couple of sentences describing how the flora/fauna differ from bordering ecoregions, a characterization of the conservation status, and of course the reference links.

Note: Other checklists of ecoregions[edit]

Fill in basic data in WikiData items[edit]

For the WikiData page for each ecoregion, there should be complete coverage of some minimal data points: Ecoregion name, realm, biome, countr(ies), WWF ID code, map, image, climate (Koppen), coordinates (middle of the largest section).

Create high-quality example articles[edit]

Currently there are no Feature articles among the ecoregions. If anyone wishes to identify a candidate for upgrading to Feature status, it would be a great help to the project. We can get a group of people helping. Similarly, it would be good to upgrade each of the biome articles to "B" status, as they are the base for a lot of common information.

Upgrade the flora and fauna sections[edit]

There is no real standard, but readers probably want to know about:

  • What species are characteristic of the area
  • What species are notable for the area
  • What species are of conservation interest (threatened, endangered, vulnerable, endemic)
  • Address plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish
  • Describe the character of the habitats (types of forest, desert, etc.)

Article cleanup[edit]

As always:

  • Copy edit
  • Clear any cleanup tags
  • Add "main" templates as appropriate
  • Write articles for important redlinks

Add links to other articles that point to the ecoregion article[edit]

When an article for a country, protected area, mountain range, water body, etc. needs general information on its environment and ecology, link to the appropriate ecoregion(s). Similarly, articles for plants, animals, etc. should also refer to ecoregions when describing their range.

Create missing ecoregion maps[edit]

As of January 2021, there are about 65 missing maps. One way to identify source data for maps is to look at the source information on the WikiCommons page for a nearby ecoregion map. Some other sources:

Create missing articles for marine and freshwater ecoregions[edit]

We'll set up a separate checklist for these.

Useful resources[edit]

Text and content[edit]

  • The Encyclopedia of Earth contains articles for many ecoregions, the text of which is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic license. This license is compatible with Wikipedia's and the text can be re-used here.




We should use the World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB) (External link), as it is a worldwide soil classification system, widely accepted and translated in many languages. As of 2006, it is the pre-eminent soil classification system, replacing the previous FAO soil classification.

The WRB borrows from modern soil classification concepts, including USDA soil taxonomy. The classification is based mainly on soil morphology as an expression pedogenesis. A major difference with USDA soil taxonomy is that soil-related climate regimes, such as xeric, ustic, and udic, are not part of the system, except insofar as climate influences soil profile characteristics (see climate guide-lines).

Useful citations[edit]

Ecoregion ranges. When claiming that a country, state, landform, or protected area is in a WWF ecoregion, you can copy-paste the following citation to the original paper:

{{cite journal |author = Olson, D. M, E. Dinerstein |title = Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Life on Earth |journal = [[BioScience]] |year = 2001 |volume=51 |issue=11 |pages= 933–938 |url = |doi = 10.1641/0006-3568(2001)051[0933:TEOTWA]2.0.CO;2 |display-authors=etal}}

It will appear as follows:

Olson, D. M, E. Dinerstein; et al. (2001). "Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Life on Earth". BioScience. 51 (11): 933–938. doi:10.1641/0006-3568(2001)051[0933:TEOTWA]2.0.CO;2.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

Ecoregion statistics. The Atlas of Global Conservation from The Nature Conservancy has various statistics for all the WWF ecoregions, valid as of 2010. These include numbers of bird, mammal, and threatened species, percent habitat loss, and percent area formally protected. Just copy-paste the following if you use their stats:

{{cite book |last1 = Hoekstra |first1 = J. M. |last2 = Molnar |first2 = J. L. |last3 = Jennings |first3 = M. |last4 = Revenga |first4 = C. |last5 = Spalding |first5 = M. D. |last6 = Boucher |first6 = T. M. |last7 = Robertson |first7 = J. C. |last8 = Heibel |first8 = T. J. |last9 = Ellison |first9 = K. |title = The Atlas of Global Conservation: Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities to Make a Difference |publisher = [[University of California Press]] |editor1-last = Molnar |editor1-first = J. L. |year = 2010 |isbn = 978-0520262560 |url = }}

It will appear like this:

Hoekstra, J. M.; Molnar, J. L.; Jennings, M.; Revenga, C.; Spalding, M. D.; Boucher, T. M.; Robertson, J. C.; Heibel, T. J.; Ellison, K. (2010). Molnar, J. L. (ed.). The Atlas of Global Conservation: Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities to Make a Difference. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0520262560.


Add the {{User WikiProject Ecoregions}} template your user page.

Add the {{Infobox ecoregion}} template to all ecoregion articles and fill out as many fields as possible.

Add the {{WikiProject Ecoregions}} template to the top of the talk page of any article which is in the scope of this project.


Ecoregion articles should use the names given them by their defining organizations (WWF, EPA, CEC, etc). When there are differences with Wikipedia conventions, default to Wikipedia conventions regarding capitalization, and create redirects for all likely variations in naming and capitalization.


An ecoregion article will typically contain the following sections:


  • The ecoregion infobox template contains various fields for describing an ecoregion. Please fill out as many as possible.


  • The name of the ecoregion.
  • The biome in which it is contained.
  • The countries it covers.


  • Physical area of the ecoregion, in square kilometers and square miles.
  • Bordering ecoregions.
  • The ecozone and bioregion in which it is contained.
  • Major geological/physiographic features of the ecoregion.
  • Soils.
  • The rivers that flow through it, and the watersheds it lies within, including freshwater ecoregions that it overlaps.
  • Any oceans or seas that it borders.
  • Alternative names for the ecoregion, including names in local languages, other biogeographic naming schemes.


  • Köppen climate classifications for parts of the ecoregion.
  • Statistics on rainfall and temperature throughout the year.
  • Important weather systems (i.e. monsoons, El Niño) that influence the climate.


  • An account of major plant communities or habitat types, including their structure and predominant or characteristic species.
  • The total number of plant species (by phylum, if known), and the number and percentage of endemic plant species.
  • The floristic region or regions it is a part of.
  • The origins of the flora, and the floral affiliations with and distinctions from with neighboring ecoregions.


  • An account of native animals organized from top predator down through lesser predators, then herbivore/prey animals and plants they feed on.
  • The total number of animal species (by phylum/class, if known), and the number and percentage of endemic animal species.
  • The zoogeographic region or regions it is a part of.
  • The origins of the fauna, and the faunal affiliations with and distinctions from with neighboring ecoregions.

Human use[edit]

  • An account of the history of human activity in the ecoregion.
  • The resources of the ecoregion: agriculture, fishing, timber, mining, industry.
  • Major cities in the ecoregion.

Conservation and threats[edit]

  • Local and global agents affecting the ecoregion's ecology, including:
    • Protected and natural areas.
    • Resource extraction, including hunting, fishing, logging, gathering.
    • Deforestation, soil degradation, and desertification.
    • Invasive plants and animals, and a description of how they have impacted native ones.
  • Conservation status as defined by... (need to establish whose conservation status to use).
  • Whether the region is part of the Global 200 or a biodiversity hotspot.


  • A list of article references.

External links[edit]

  • Link to the WWF scientific report, plus any other relevant links.

Article assessment[edit]

Article assessments help project members prioritise improvements to articles related to ecoregions. Project members should assess articles according to the importance and quality scales given at Wikipedia:WikiProject Ecoregions/Assessment, and then record the results using the {{WikiProject Ecoregions}} project template on the article talk page. E.g.

{{WikiProject Ecoregions|class=C|importance=mid}}

After assessing an article, you may want to place it on your watchlist for a while, and reassess the article if you see major improvements. New articles often take a few days or weeks before they stabilize, and may improve considerably during this period.


  • This WikiProject was proposed by Earth, itself, fed up by itchy humans on its surface.
  • Right. Earth ability is limited to do the job herself. And it fits very well in my biodiversity focus, so I'll help a bit User:anthere
  • Curious about how Earth proposed this. Though I recognize that she is fed up, which I suppose is enough. I will help. Sunray 17:26, 2004 Jan 15 (UTC)
  • Tom Radulovich
  • Ombudsman 22:19, 28 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • User:Paleorthid - Soil scientist, working on WikiProject Soil. Project tast #5 is to work in support of this project.
  • User:1brettsnyder - I have created several ecoregion articles and will continue to do so, as well as improve any and all ecoregion articles I find lacking.
  • User:Every-leaf-that-trembles (2018) - writing WWF ecoregion articles, also filling out the WikiData items
  • JarrahTree (2019) - adding for the processes interconnected with biota in Oceania
  • J-Mo 19:49, 13 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • User:Joe Roe, interested in arid ecosystems in Western Asia.


  • Lots of work to do here, so i reckon I'm in. Oh BTW, see m:Ecoregion DTD on meta. Quinobi 20:55, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • -- bcasterlinetalk 04:37, 1 June 2006 (UTC) despite obvious inactivity. Articles on biogeography (still) badly need some sort of standardization.Reply[reply]
  • Miguel.v will work on ecoregion articles as I look them up and find them lacking.
  • User:Kaarel - I am a biologist interested (among other things) in biogeography and improving the Wikipedia articles.
  • User:Bengrin85 I'd be glad to help in any way I can, but I'm no expert 02:00, 25 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • User:Forstbirdo - forest engineer, translation of ecoregion articles into Esperanto.
  • Farjad0322 (talk|contribs) (31 August 2010) - I have joined this project so that I could learn more about deserts and xeric shrublands, woodlands, badlands, whatever. I am a coordinator of WP:Desert. I also created Ecoregions of Pakistan.
  • User:Gulivar - Interested in improving articles relating to ecoregions.
  • User:Cleveland13 - Interested in improving ecoregion articles for a college project.

Related Wikiprojects[edit]

See also[edit]

WikiProject Ecoregions : another way to see the World

Links to French-language Wikipedia[edit]

External watchlist[edit]