BioMatrix database

Member of the

Freshwater Information Platform

How to use the BioMatrix database

Savrina Carrizo (International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN, Cambridge) and Teresa Connolly (University of Oxford)

What is this tool

The BioMatrix is a collection of datasets of the contemporary distributions and drivers of freshwater biodiversity. It is a “living” repository so that the addition of datasets is an on going process. Data are mapped to different spatial resolutions such as the HydroBASINS global catchments and WWF freshwater ecoregions. Datasets are grouped into taxonomic and regional groups for easier download. You can learn more about the BioMatrix from this short BioFresh blog article.

Why use it

The data are useful for any studies requiring knowledge on the location of one or more freshwater species or the spatial diversity of groups of freshwater species. A key benefit is that the data are mapped to catchments rather than an arbitrary grid. Freshwater species migrations, ecological processes and threat propagation occur via the catchment network and thus catchments provide the framework to improve the spatial understanding of the issues most pertinent to safeguarding freshwater biodiversity. In particular we use HydroBASINS, a global standardised hydrological framework that delineates catchments at multiple resolutions and includes network connectivity information.

Using this tool

You can access the BioMatrix distribution data downloads directly at

The following maps are available:

All data generated from the IUCN Red Lists are presented under a CC-BY-NC 3.0 licence and so can be freely used for non-commercial use.

Problem solving

Details on the usage of the tool are given in the BioFresh BioMatrix Manual.

Contribute your findings to the BioFresh platform

We invite you to contribute your data and/or results to the BioFresh platform. The BioMatrix will be integrated in the online Global Freshwater Biodiversity Atlas in due course. Similar maps (per organism group) can be seen here:


Carrizo, S. & Darwall, W. (2013). BioMatrix - METADATA. Contemporary distributions of freshwater biodiversity. BioFresh Deliverable 4.4.