Improving biodiversity data accessibility in Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados and Suriname

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Common monkey lizard (Polychrus marmoratus)

Common monkey lizard (Polychrus marmoratus), Trinidad and Tobago, from iNaturalist Research-grade Observations. Photo by Chuck Sexton, licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

This project is aimed at fully digitizing the main collections of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Suriname, and making these data available in a user-friendly form to policy makers, governmental agencies, conservation NGOs, enterprises and the general public.

Key elements of the project include:

  • Hiring of additional database assistants

  • Training of all technical personnel

  • Development of a Caribbean Biodiversity Information Portal (CariBIP) utilizing the open-source infrastructure originally developed by the Atlas of Living Australia

  • Stakeholder workshops for natural history collection curators about participating with and using both GBIF and CariBIP

  • Developing a Caribbean GBIF node

While the wider Caribbean has many endemic and threatened species, regional biodiversity inventories are sadly far from complete and face imminent threats. In addiiton, the few natural history collections in the region are small, lacking financial support, and unable to improve their collection curation without help. Collections remain only partially digitized, or not digitized at all, further limiting their accessibility. This project will support well-functioning natural history collections capable of documenting aspects of their area's biodiversity, including endemic, threatened, and invasive and alien species; conservation status and extinction risk; and threats to biodiversity.

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Type of grant
Regional biodiversity data mobilization grant
1 May 2017 - 31 December 2018
Project identifier
Funded by
Contact details

Dr. Paul E. Ouboter, Director NZCS
National Zoological Collection of Suriname (NZCS)
Anton de Kom University of Suriname
Universiteits Complex, Leysweg 86
Paramaribo, Suriname

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