Species checklists are a key component for all biodiversity information systems, as they are needed for exchanging and integrating biodiversity information for many activities, scientific and otherwise. Within these checklists, there must be validated nomenclatural data organized according to coherent taxonomic standards. A problem lies herein that the vast majority of Latin American and Caribbean countries lack documentation in their native language to compile local or national species checklists. As a result, we currently have fragmented information without common standards, which makes it hard to compile regional lists, limiting research and conservation actions within the region.
This project will build on the experiences from the GBIF nodes of Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Chile and Brazil, with the associations CyTeD and Andino NET, to conduct a regional project defining consensus procedures for the development of national species checklists. A focus will be placed on achieving compatibility of databases with existing ones. Aiming a for a broad coverage of users, outcomes will be published in Spanish, Portuguese and English. Through a programme to “train the trainers”, knowledge gained from capacity dissemination events can be replicated to national and specific contexts. Additionally, a pilot checklist dataset per country will be published in the GBIF data network.
From the start of the project, regular monthly virtual meetings were been held between the partners to discuss different issues of the project and track development, and by the end of the project the proposed activities were successfully implemented.
In March 2019 the project held a regional workshop “Increasing capacities to develop National Species Checklists in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region”. Attended by GBIF national nodes, associations of the Latin American and Caribbean region and a representative of the Biodiversity National System of National Council of Protected Areas -CONAP of Guatemala, this event provided an opportunity to hear about participants’ experiences in developing checklists, together with providing a forum to share tools and skills to use in this work.
In June 2019 a capacity dissemination training session (under a train the trainers” scheme) was also carried out in Argentina for personnel of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Nation – MAyDS.
After these events the project continued to develop and work on the agreed documentation, for which by the end of the project the following was published. All of which were first generated in Spanish and then translated into English and Portuguese.
- A consensual procedure & requirements document.
- A type and subtype classification checklist (with the DwC fields and relevant IPT extensions).
- Guidelines for mentoring activities – a document to help with the organization of workshops for training in the generation and publication of checklists, which includes benefits that can be achieved by conducting this type of workshop, as well as suggestions in the selection of profiles of the participants and their evaluation.
- A study case for effective checklist publication.
All documentation is available via the .zip file in the respective language.
The project also published over 10 pilot checklist datasets by participant nodes/institutions based on the defined procedures and aimed at their interoperability: AndinoNet, Argentina, Brazil, Chile (1) + Chile (2), Colombia, CyTED, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico (1) + Mexico (2), Peru and Uruguay.