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Author/Editor: N. Sivasothi
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore.


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05 Jul 2007 - Raffles Museum News has shifted to http://news.rafflesmuseum.net

Thu 18 May 2006

"Earth's Biodiversity Now on Your Desktop"

Category : resources

"Earth's Biodiversity Now on Your Desktop." US National Science Foundation, 2o Apr 2006. Global Web service connects vast networks of primary biodiversity data.

"Anyone in the world with an Internet connection and an interest in the Earth's living species can now access worldwide networks of biodiversity data from his or her desktop, thanks to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). The world's biodiversity encompasses all living species of plants, animals and organisms on the planet Earth, as well as their genetic variants and the ecosystems in which they live.

With the emergence of the Information Age, scientists and concerned citizens worldwide have advocated for a means to share biodiversity data to encourage sustainable and responsible use of natural resources. The GBIF was established in 2001 with the mission to digitize and disseminate the world's primary biodiversity data via the Internet. The GBIF data portal provides access to information, including images, of the vast array of Earth's living species."

Posted at 10:12PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Thu 18 May 2006

Raffles Museum in UC Berkeley consortium awarded GBIF grant to biogeoreference Herptile database

Category : news

06 Mar 2006 - The GBIF Secretariat announced that a consortium of institutions from 8 countries has been awarded USD 464,061 to append georeferenced, distributed database of worldwide amphibian localities. David B. Wake and Co-PIs, Craig Moritz and Carol Spencer of UC Berkeley, are the lead project investigators.

GBIF wishes to encourage broad networking of institutions in order to facilitate the development of larger data sets. The 2005-2006 DIGIT Seed Money award to Dr. Wake and colleagues will expand the existing HerpNET database, originally a US National Science Foundation project for North America, to the global level.

HerpNET is a collaborative effort by natural history museums to establish a global network of herpetological collections data that can be used in studying the basis for recent amphibian population declines.

The DIGIT seed money award will be used to add seven additional amphibian collections to the existing network:

  • Australian Museum, Sydney (AMS);
  • Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Hawaii, USA (BPBM)
  • Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu, Sichuan, China (CIB
  • Musum d'histoire naturelle de la Ville de Genve, Switzerland (MHNG)
  • Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Singapore (RM)
  • Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium (RMCA)
  • Staatliches Museum fr Naturkunde Stuttgart, Germany (SMNS); and
  • Zoological Institute Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia (ZIN)

This project will include training in digitization and geo-referencing, the installation of DiGIR servers and registration with the GBIF network for the partner institutions. On completion the project will add more than 425,000 new amphibian records of which 374,445 specimens will be newly georeferenced. Inn addition, new HerpNET features available in 2007 and funded by this grant include: the ability to search under synonymous taxonomy, expert opinion maps from the Global Amphibian Assessment mapped along with point-locality data, and automatic links to maps from AmphibiaWeb species accounts, as well as to HerpNET data providers.

Currently, HerpNET includes 44 institutions from the US, Canada and Mexico, with over 3.7 million amphibian and reptile specimen holdings in total. Twenty providers are currently available for searching on the HerpNET portal, and by Fall 2007, 51 providers will be available HerpNET and GBIF.

HerpNET would like to invite all natural history museums in the world that hold herpetological specimens to join the network. By adding more North American and international collections they hope to meet their goals of making a collaborative database of all herpetological collections available. Those joining have at their disposal the data standards, software and documentation that were developed for MaNIS, ORNIS, HerpNET, BioGeomancer and GBIF.

To join HerpNET, please contact Carol Spencer or Rob Gales.

Source: GBIF Press Release: "GBIF Seed Money to Support a Consortium of Amphibian Data Providers." GBIF, 06 Mar 2006.

Posted at 9:55PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,