Protected Area Tools

The development of Protected Area Tools (PAT) was conceived as part of an ongoing process to help fill the technical void that exists in many countries of GIS-based user-friendly tools that support the process of evaluating and filling protected area gaps.




It is hoped that Protected Area Tools (PAT) will continue to evolve and provide utility for evaluating land purchase/acquisition for achieving maximum return on investment in terms of overall contribution to a country’s conservation goals. In addition to questions that may be asked about the best remaining core habitat or covering a comprehensive representation of biodiversity, the ultimate question conservation planners want answered is “Where do I get the best ecological return for my conservation dollar?” This question has driven the design of a systematic, logical, and repeatable toolkit that helps planners evaluate activities or events that may be threatening habitat health, identify a comprehensive representation of biodiversity for protection, and configure an optimal portfolio solution for meeting habitat conservation goals.PAT consists of three conservation modules which operate within Environmental Systems Research Institute’s (ESRI) ArcGIS 9.3 Geographic Information System (GIS) software: Environmental Risk Surface (ERS), Relative Biodiversity Index (RBI), and Marxan Tools.

URL (No Longer Available)

For Application Domains

Biodiversity Conservation

Decision Problem Types Targeted

Alternative Evaluation

Impact Assessment

Status Assessment

Domain Knowledge Modeling Area

Conservation Of Biodiversity

Land Use Allocation

Planning And Decision Process Phases/Steps Served

Condition Analysis And Assessment

Impact Analysis

Perform Sensitivity Analysis

Methods And Techniques Implemented

Spatial Analysis And Modeling Methods

Systems Functional Components

GIS Analysis Integration

Input Type

Spatial Dataset

Input Data Format

ESRI Geodatabase Feature Class

Output Type

Spatial Dataset

Analysis Unit

All (User Defined Unit Of Observation)


Windows XP

Software Required



Description Of System Components

ArcView level is req'd for ERS and RBI modules, ArcInfo level and Workstation are req'd for Marxan tools, and the Spatial Analyst extension is req'd for ERS. Also, Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 is req'd for PAT V3.0. Windows 2000 and Vista may encounter problems, so Windows XP is recommended.

Online Download Available

True ^^ Http://Www.W3.Org/2001/Xmlschema#Boolean

Developer Assistance Needed For Installation/Configuration

False ^^ Http://Www.W3.Org/2001/Xmlschema#Boolean



Development Status

Regularly Distributed

Last Released

2009-08-01 ^^

Tool Maker

The Nature Conservancy

Information Source

The Nature Conservancy

Contact Person

Steven Schill


Martin Wong

Parent Categories

Software Tools And Models - All

Spatial Decision Support Systems

First Created


Last Updated


Model Type

Evaluative Models

Software Type

Spatial Decision Support Systems

Decision Process Activity Types Served

Alternative Ranking, Decision Making

Condition Analysis And Assessment

Graphical Ontology Browser

  • Click on a node to jump to the content of that node
  • Pan to see the rest of the graph
  • Scroll the mousewheel up and down to zoom in and out
  • Rearrange the nodes in the graph by dragging a node to a different position


IntroductionPlanning/Decision ContextPlanning And Spatial Decision ProcessSpatial Planning And Decision Problem TypesMethods And Techniques
methods and techniques; methodology
TechnologyData And Domain KnowledgePeople And ParticipationResources