SkyIsland Biodiversity Network: Biodiversity discovery through data capture and processing
Implementation of data management system for collecting, processing, analysing and promoting biodiversity data for the poorly known Mozambican region. This complements established projects in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Kenya. We focus on amphibians and reptiles given their poor understanding, high conservation threat, our expertise and the growing data availability and resources. We have implemented the data management system to Mozambique by training colleagues at the Faculty of Natural Sciences –Lúrio University who we have established links with. We first have an exchange visit with the visiting Scientist (Farooq) visiting Basel and the Bio geography Research Group (Loader, and Nagel) to be trained in database management and molecular techniques. This is followed by supervisor of the visiting scientist (Loader) visiting Mozambique and following up training, and giving lecturers to hosts group and colleagues and establishing protocols for establishing a network in Mozambique.
Follow up visit by Loader is necessary to ensure the project is meeting expecting goals and finalize results in a planned workshop. This provides an impetus for increasing knowledge on biodiversity and a spring-board for future funding between collaborating research groups.
- Develop collaborations with Mozambique (Lúrio University) to provide access to biodiversity information for the Eastern Afromontane region > Join the SkyIsland Network.
- To contribute to human capital development by enabling local researchers to obtain higher degrees and to transfer skills to Mozambican undergraduate students.
- Facilitate and support communities of taxonomic experts and stakeholders in the managementof their biodiversity data.
- To provide quality baseline data which can be used toward IUCN Redlist assessments for species.
- To implement guidelines across projects on the acquisition of biodiversity data (formats, images, GIS, acoustic, and comparative data), to maintain a consistency and ease of datatransfer between projects.
- To manage a web based interface for entering data by internal users and viewing of the database and project by external users
- To inform public and users on running projects (e.g. photos of collections in the field and investigator blogs).
- Provide a platform to share relevant information for internal and external users for advancing understanding of biodiversity (e.g. literature, image galleries).
- To address “queries” of external and internal users of the project (this could include research error stakeholders requests – such as number of species from a specified locality of KBA).To established a long term legacy for the running of the database.
Dr Simon Loader, University of Basel, Environmental Science Departement
Farooq Hadith, Lúrio University, Pemba, Mozambique