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RAMAS® Multispecies Assessment


RAMAS® Multispecies Assessment is a conservation planning tool that combines the status of viability information across multiple species to deliver geographically explicit habitat conservation values. The tool is flexible and easy to fit your data. All you need to do is input what you know about population status, habitat requirements, and threats. You can use as little data for each species as a location map and its listed status. If you have more data, build detailed habitat and metapopulation models. Taken to its full potential, Multispecies Assessment delivers quantitative conservation guidance without the use of the rule of thumb, providing a valuable counterpart to rules-based conservation planning tools.


Use RAMAS® Multispecies Assessment to:

  • Link your GIS to an ecological model

  • Use landscape data in your population viability analysis

  • Incorporate changes in habitat into a metapopulation model

  • Combine geographic and demographic data for risk assessment

  • Compute the Multi Species Conservation Values (MCV) across your study site

System Requirements

Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP or newer.


Multispecies Conservation Values (MCV)

RAMAS® Multispecies Assessment estimates Multispecies Conservation Values based on the importance and magnitude of threats facing the component species. Estimating the Multispecies Conservation Value is a three step process:

  • Phase 1: Habitat suitability assessment for each species

  • Phase 2: Extinction risk and contribution estimation for each population

  • Phase 3: Estimating Multispecies Conservation Values


Phase 1: Habitat Suitability

  1. GIS layers are imported

  2. Habitat suitability function is applied

  3. Patch detection to determine spatial structure of populations

  4. Demographic parameters estimated based on spatial considerations


Phase 2: Extinction Risk and Contribution Estimation

  1. Build metapopulation model incorporating: stochasticity, stage structure, catastrophes, density dependence, population management, etc.
    Use threat status or other estimate of risk

  2. Run sequential models to estimate contribution of each population to the overall risk of extinction


Phase 3: Estimating the Multispecies Conservation Value

  1. Establish level of risk criteria

  2. Combine habitat suitability, extinction risk and contribution values for each species at each location on the habitat suitability map

  3. Output is a grid map of MCV values



RAMAS® Multispecies Assessment, which incorporates RAMAS® GIS, includes the ability to:

  • apply a suitability function to a series of map layers

  • estimate the habitat suitability

  • delineate populations

  • import existing GIS maps

  • import RAMAS® GIS Spatial Data files

  • build spatially explicit metapopulation models, which may have

    • stage or age structure

    • density dependence

    • stochasticity

    • dispersal

    • catastrophes

    • population management

  • import existing RAMAS® Metapop files

  • estimate the risk of extinction for a species

  • estimate the contribution of each individual population to overall metapopulation risk of extinction

  • utilize an externally generated numerical risk value

  • and estimate a multispecies conservation value (MCV).




Depending on the available memory,

  • Spatial models may have up to 5000 rows by 5000 columns

  • Metapopulation models can have up to 500 populations with 50 stages and 100 different types of age or stage matrices (each of which can be assigned to one or more populations). They can be simulated for up to 500 time steps with up to 10,000 replications.


RAMAS® Multispecies produces a variety of outputs during the 3-step process that summarizes the habitat suitability, metapopulation dynamics, and MCV. These include

  • Habitat suitability map for each species (exportable)

  • Risk of metapopulation decline

  • Abundance of the metapopulation and the expected variation,

  • Map of the MCV's across the study site (exportable)


User interface

RAMAS® Multispecies has an interactive, user-friendly menu system. Editing input parameters, displaying results, and selecting output options are done with this menu system that includes a context-sensitive on-line help facility. There is also a large set of error and warning messages, and each input parameter (whether input from keyboard or file) is checked for consistency to prevent errors. Both input data and results can be saved to disk files.


The program is accompanied by a manual for Multispecies Analysis which includes discussions on basics of each phase of the analysis and descriptions of various menus and screens. One chapter contains a tutorial that illustrates the concepts of metapopulation dynamics with the use of several examples, and demonstrates the use of the software by guiding the user through step-by-step instructions. Also included is a full version of the RAMAS® GIS manual, which includes includes discussions on basics of population and metapopulation dynamics.



Site or classroom licenses allow 25 simultaneous users.


Technical support is free for colleges, government, and non-profit organizations.


Technical support for private users is available at an annual fee of 30% of the software price.

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