European Alien Species Information Network - Species Explorer

EASIN Species Search and Mapping Users Guide

Version 1.43, last update 09.11.2023

This is a user's guide to the EASIN service “Species Search and Mapping” and its functions.

Searching for species

By clicking on “Search and Map” on the submenu, a general base map opens.

This button opens the Species Search modal dialog with five collapsible sections:

Main search criteria

Species can be searched by their scientific name or combination of criteria.

Searching by name

Figure 1. Searching species by name

Users must enter at least four characters in the search field. A variable drop down list, including synonyms appears filled with species whose name or synonym correspond to the entered input. Users have to select a single species from the drop down list.

Searching by combined criteria

For the definition of terms and criteria here below, please visit our Catalogue Protocol page.

The combined criteria consist of three state buttons (Main criteria) and two state buttons (Species Status and Environment).

For the three state buttons, the logic is as follows:

[No]: excludes species corresponding to the selected characteristic,

[Off]: filter not active

[Yes]: selects only the species having that characteristic

For the two state buttons, the logic is as follows:

[Off]: filter not active

[On]: selects only the species corresponding to the selected characteristic.

Users can select any combination of the following filters:

The combination of criteria follows the ‘and’ logic, which means the searched species have to satisfy all the selected criteria, i.e. selecting EU concern [Yes] + the Partly Native filters [No], the search will result in the list of species of EU concern that are not partly native.

The species statuses selected in a combined criteria search follow the ‘or’ logic, which means the searched species have to satisfy any of the selected criteria. For example, selecting Alien [Yes] + Questionable [Yes] will return all the species that are either Alien or Questionable.

Any combination of the above environments follows the ‘or’ logic, which means the searched species must satisfy any of the selected criteria. For example, selecting Terrestrial [Yes] + Oligohaline [Yes] would retrieve all species that are Terrestrial or Oligohaline.

Figure 2. Searching by combined criteria

When selecting from the three criteria groups, the combination follows the ‘and’ logic. Referring to the example in Figure 2, we would retrieve all the species that meet the conditions of being [(impact and partly native) and (Alien or Cryptogenic) and Terrestrial].


Occurrence in specific EU locations

Users can search for species present in at least the selected countries. The species retrieved can be present also in other countries.

Figure 3. Searching species present in specific countries

In the example depicted in Figure 3, the user wants to retrieve all the species that are present in Ireland plus those present in Spain.


Lists of species of EU Member States and regional concern

Users can search for species present in official lists of concern from specific EU Member States or relevant Outermost regions. The filtering logic can exclude the species of MS/regional concern from the retrieved list or retrieve only the species that are of EU MS/Regional concern.

Figure 4. Searching species of EU Member States concern or outermost regions concern

In the example of Figure 4, all the lists of EU Member States concern are selected and the filtering logic set to [Yes] to indicate that only the species relevant to the selected MS will be retrieved. Multiple selections, as shown in Figure 4, are treated as or selections, meaning that a species do not have to be of concern for all the selected MS.


Search by Taxonomies

Users can select any combination of taxonomies. In this case the selected taxonomies are joined with the or logic.

Figure 5. Searching species by taxonomies

In the above example, all the species in the Animalia or the Bacteria taxonomies will be retrieved.


Search by CBD Pathways

Users can select multiple CBD Pathways and retrieve species associated to them (along with any other selected criteria).

Figure 6. Searching species by cbd pathways


Combination of criteria in multiple sections

When multiple sections are used to specify the search criteria, the selected filters in each section are joined following the ‘and’ logic. For example, selecting the EU concern filter in the first section and the ‘TRANSPORT – Stowaway’ CBD Pathway in another section, only the species that satisfy both criteria will be retrieved.


Search results

After having selected all the criteria of interest, users can click on the [Search Species] button to initiate the search, and the list of retrieved species will be displayed.

Figure 7. Search results

By clicking on the [+] symbol next to the species name, an expanding panel displays detailed information about the species. Users can read species’ information before proceeding to map their distribution in Europe.

Figure 8. Species data panel


Mapping selected species

In the search results screen (Figure 7), users have the option to select the species to map and then clicking on [Map Selected]. Alternatively, it is possible to map all the species found by clicking on [Map All Found]. Selected species will be displayed on the tailored map. By default, the first geographical layer offered is the Country layer. A legend palette will provide information on the range of species found in each country or location. A legend will help users understand the distribution of species across different areas.

Please note: when one or more Countries are selected in the 'Occurrence in specific EU locations' criteria section, the two-states option 'Map Selected Countries/Regions Only' depicted in Figure 7 appears. By setting this option to [On], only the selected contries will be mapped.

Figure 9. Presence map at country layer type


Working with the map options

After the species’ presence layer is loaded on the map, a layer selection control will appear in the upper right corner.

Figure 10. Layer type selector

This control allows users to select and toggle between different layers:

When the map is populated, a number of buttons are displayed on the top-left:

Reopens the search filters to review/change the search criteria and remap the species.

Resets the map and all the filters used

Opens the data partners and native range options panel: by using this panel, users can select specific data partners to obtain geospatial information. The native range option is also available to display layers in different colors where the species is native. Please note this feature is only available when a single species is mapped.

Opens a panel to specify the year range, default range is 1500 - today.

Generates a Pdf of the map and summarizes the parameters used

Downloads the map layer in GeoJSON format (EPSG: 4326 as reference projection) or WKT format (EPSG: 3035 as reference projection).


Saving queries

Registered users can save their species searches and recall them to map them. When users are logged in and have mapped some species or recalled a query, the following bottom-left controls appear to manage their queries:

It opens a dialog listing the queries saved by the logged-in user, through which saved queries can be recalled, shared or deleted.

It allows users to save the query naming it and with a brief description explaining the main purpose and parameters.

It is used to download a simple list of currently mapped species either in JSON or CSV format

It is used to download the full query information, including the selected search parameters, the species selected (and requested) for mapping, the mapping options and the list of actually mapped species

The share query button generates a link to recall the query and copies the link in the clipboard, for the user to paste it anywhere.

Before saving the query, the map displays the current query ID.

After user saves the query, the query title is shown instead.

When the query is saved, clicking on the query name a dialogue opens to display the main query information.


Getting query information at local scale

If the query is saved, clicking on a specific location a pop-up displays the total mapped species for that location. In addition, two links, namely [query details] and [species list] will be available in the pop-up. The [query details] link is used to download the complete query information along with the list of mapped species. The file is in JSON format. The [Species List] link is used to download the list of mapped species only. In this case, users may have the option to choose between downloading the species list in CSV or JSON format.

Please refer to Figure 11 for a visual representation of these controls and features

Figure 11. Local species count and download links, for Slovenia in this example