This project will enable the Natural History Museum of Jamaica (NHMJ) and its national and overseas partners to strengthen collaborative ties, improve technical resources and increase access to biodiversity knowledge and data.
Key activities include:
Training in the digitization of publications and specimens
Creation of metadata for biological datasets
Napping of research and species distributions
Open data sharing of species images, records, and maps
A workshop intended to highlight the uses of project data for especially IAS management, National Park planning and wildlife research monitoring.
Access to relevant data and information is critical for conservation of Jamaican biodiversity, especially in light of habitat destruction, invasive alien species (IAS) and climate change. The NHMJ has been instrumental in generating and providing access to Jamaican biodiversity data and information and its biological collections, the oldest and most comprehensive locally, represent all habitat types for Jamaica. The NHMJ has relied on these collections while working with in-country partners like National Environment and Planning Agency and Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust to develop national conservation strategies, action plans and protected area management plans.
A Jamaica Invasive Species Database (JISD) workshop was held in January 2018, where 25 new records were uptained and 10 records were updated, which geographic coordinates were added to. In March 2018, the project held a specimen digitization workshop. Cameras, light boxes and a computer station were set up as a part of the workshop. A GIS and metadata workshop was held in July 2018, where 4 staff members from the IOJ Natural istory Museum of Jamaica and 2 staff members from NEPA attended. 3 maps were created created during this workshop; 1. Biodiversity Research in Protected Areas 2010-2015, 2. Miconia Research in Jamaica 2010-2015, and 3. Research in the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park 2010-2015.
Over 3,000 plant samples from 114 families, 152 genera and 247 species have been entered into the database by the Botany Department. The Zoology Department has been digitizing samples and verifying the data in their records to fit the Darwin Code format. To date, the Zoology Department has completed verification on 104 families, 233 genera and 293 species.
The Botany Department has digitized over 8,000 specimens, which was the minimum target for the project. These specimens included mosses, mushrooms and Miconia sp.. The data has been uploaded to GBIF. The Zoology Department has uploaded a dataset on Orthoptera of 382 specimens.
All workshops, except the metadata workshop for Darwin Core standards, were held on digitizing specimens, invasive species, GIS and mapping. Metadata was incorporated into the digitization and GIS workshops. An occurrence dataset for 15 invasive alien species (IAS) has also been published on GBIF. A list of invasive species in Jamaica can also be found on the website of Jamaica Invasive Species Database.
The project held a BIND workshop in December 2018 on the digitization process, and on the importance of uniformity of collecting and recording information on specimens. The attendees were a representative from the EU delegation office in Jamaica, board members of the IOJ, academia, government organizations, and environmental NGOs.