The Global Distribution of Terrestrial Mammals
The map shows the distribution areas of almost all terrestrial mammals - more than 5,000 species in total. The distribution data was obtained from the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (which in fact lists all known mammals, classified into different categories spanning from low concern to a high risk of extinction).
All distribution areas are mapped on top of each other with a very low opacity (2%) using QGIS. Areas of full saturation consequently have a density of more than 50 species.
The additional bar charts visualize the size of land area (left axis) and the number of species (right axis) per latitude. It's quite easy to spot that the highest diversity of terrestrial mammals can be found in the equatorial belt - areas with tropical climate - whereas the peak values for landmass are between 25° - 50° N.
Read more about this project here: http://mappable.info/blog/2014/3/28