Assessing a species' threat status and prioritizing conservation efforts require knowledge on species populations and trends. With such data often lacking, GBIF-mediated occurrence data can aid in documenting species ranges and changes over time.
In this study, researchers assessed the usefulness of GBIF-mediated occurrences in deriving IUCN classifications based on Extent of Occurrence (EOO) calculations in a largely under-sampled taxon—spiders (Aranaea)—by comparing hypothetical threat statuses derived from literature, GBIF data, and both combined.
The analysis showed that while GBIF data alone was not sufficient for 88.7 per cent of the study species, it enabled assessment of some species (3.3 per cent) not classifiable based on literature alone. In a few species, the addition of GBIF data changed the hypothetical classification—in one species, Myrmarachne bicolor, from vulnerable to least concern.
The results show the potential of using GBIF-mediated data in threat assessments, while highlighting the importance of promoting increased digitization and mobilization of data to GBIF.