Atlas of Living Australia improves local biodiversity research

CANBERRA, (PNA/Xinhua) — An Internet tool which can provide over 40 million specimen records to people, achieved “a significant leap” forward in bringing Australia’s biodiversity information together online, making it easy to access and analyze, a latest statement from CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, said on Thursday.

The online tool, Atlas of Living Australia, can provide immediate access to reliable and verifiable information about Australia’s remarkable biodiversity.

According to CSIRO, Atlas of Living Australia is a partnership between CSIRO, Australia’s museums and herbaria, biological collections, research organizations, universities and government departments. It has received Australian government contribution of 41.3 million AU dollars (almost 38.42 million U.S. dollars).

The Atlas now provides access to over 40 million records thanks to the addition of over 700,000 specimen records from Queensland Museum and 560,000 new and updated specimen records from Museum Victoria, including 23,000 images, the figures of the CSIRO showed.

“With over half a billion records downloaded, the Atlas demonstrates the power of collecting biodiversity data once and reusing it many times over to benefit research, conservation and planning. There are still a lot of biodiversity records out there and we encourage organizations to come forward and share their data via the Atlas,” Atlas of Living Australia Director Dr John La Salle said.

“The records in the Atlas can be put to many uses, from simply looking up species or finding out what species occur at any location in Australia, to informing pest management, helping revegetation groups understand what species to plant and predicting species distributions in the future,” he added.