Arachnids are among the most common and ubiquitous of animals, present in all terrestrial ecosystems. With the exception of Acari (mites), all Arachnids are obligate carnivores, and insects constitute their principal prey. Being short-lived, Arachnids adjust rapidly to changes in the environment thus making them useful ecological indicators. Moreover, many arachnids are also considered to be of medical importance.
For Zimbabwe and its protected areas, data about Arachnid fauna of is not available to policy makers. As a result, conservation policies for sustainable resources and protection have been developed with no knowledge of this important component of the biodiversity being included. Digitization and online accessibility is therefore an extremely useful and important tool to make natural heritage available and inform policy makers.
The Arachnid collection of the Matobo Hills World Heritage Site held at the Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe contains information that can be useful to both policy makers and medical practitioners. This project aims to digitize and organize the collection in a multimedia database for easy access to every interested person. The project team will also publish the database to GBIF for reliable access.