What is Ecosim?

Ecosim simulates the effects of nature management. The program is set up as a computer game, in which the user is a nature manager who has to meet conservation goals (e.g. preserve or reintroduce a certain plant or animal species, increase or restore a certain habitat type, etc.). [read more]


PC: XP, SP3, Windows Vista, Windows 7.

Mac: Mac OS X 10.3x or higher.

Memory: 1024 MB or higher

Graphics card: 32 MB VRAM, PS2.0 or higher.

For Ecosim to run properly it needs to be downloaded and installed on your computer.

How does Ecosim work?

Ecosim consists of a landscape of about one million tiles of 20 x 20 metres. Each tile is defined by ecological parameters (e.g. pH, nutrients, vegetation structure). There are also tiles for roads, dykes, agricultural land, buildings, etc.).

By conducting research in this landscape, the user discovers the conservation problem and subsequently chooses the management to achieve the objective. Ecosim calculates the population dynamics of the target species each subsequent year. Research and management consume time and money, which adds another element in the game.

[read more]

For whom is Ecosim?

  • scholars and professionals in nature management.

  • high school students

  • university students

  • nature organisations

  • land managers

[read more]

Availability and conditions of use

Ecosim is freely downloadable from this website from www.crossbillguides.org and www.natuurportal.nl.

Ecosim is an open source program, and we encourage you to develop the program further, with or without our participation.

About the producers

Ecosim is produced by Dirk Hilbers (concept, content), Jaap Kreijkamp / Ctrl-J (programming) and Aram Korevaar / Studio Alarm (Graphic design).

www.dirkhilbers.nl / studioalarm.nl / ctrl-j.com

Ecosim is created under the umbrella of the Crossbill Guides Foundation [hyperlink www.crossbillguides.org] and is financed by Stitpro

For the correct functioning of the Ecosim landscape, we have based ourselves on SynBioSys and we thank Stephan Hennekens and Joop Schaminée for their contribution. For the correct implementation of Ecosim in Nature management education we work together with Van Hall / Larenstein. We thank Hans van den Dool, Loes Verbiesen en Mareille de Kruijf of Van Hall Larensteijn for their contributions]. For the correct implementation of Ecosim in the biology programm in highschool we thank Horst Wolter and Frank van Wielink for their contribution.