Species distribution data request


About the dataset

Distribution data (digitized maps) compiled by BirdLife International and Handbook of the Birds of the World for the world’s birds (>11,000 species, click here for further information on the taxonomy followed) are available for non-commercial use in file geodatabase format for use in GIS mapping software. Not all of the world's birds are included because we omit sensitive species plus the Liverpool Pigeon.

Further information regarding the attributes contained with the species distribution data can be found here, and are also included in the metadata file provided with the data.

The distribution data are updated as part of each Red List update. A list of the species for which the distribution data have been updated in the latest release is included with the dataset, and available to download here.

Requesting data

To request the distribution data please email the required details indicated below to DataRequests@birdlife.org. We will then review your request and send the download location for the data to you. If you have any questions about the data or process please do not hesitate to contact us.

Please Note: this is not an automated process and before requests are responded to they undergo internal authorisation by a member of staff, as such requests normally take between 5 and 10 working days to process. Please note that at present, requests may take longer than normal due to limited staff capacity.

Required details

  • Name
  • Position
  • Organisation
  • Address
  • Country
  • Email address - the download location for the data will be sent to this email address.
  • Purpose - please give a comprehensive description of how you intend to use the data. We may request further clarification prior to providing access.


BirdLife International will process your data in accordance with the UK Data Protection Act 1998. On occasion we may pass your data onto other members of the BirdLife International Partnership.

By providing your personal data you consent to it’s processing as described in the above statement.

Terms of use

Please read and accept the terms of use, disclaimer and errors and omissions statement here. In particular, please note that the data cannot be used for commercial purposes, passed on to third parties, or republished. Full and appropriate acknowledgement is required in any materials or publications derived from the data (and copies of these should be sent to BirdLife). For any publications making substantial use of the data, BirdLife International welcomes the opportunity for coauthorship, collaboration and to comment prior to publication.