Founded in 1978, the Cartagena Botanical Garden (CBG) is a historic Colombian scientific institution that holds a considerable amount of critical biological information on the Colombian Caribbean region.
The main goal of CBG is to educate to conserve the plant diversity of the Caribbean region. Its collections contain specimens from the Colombian departments of Bolívar, Atlántico, Magdalena, La Guajira, Cesar, Córdoba, Sucre and the Caribbean islands—including three plant collections: a herbarium (JBGP), a living collection, and a seed bank. It has also developed biological inventories of one of the last tropical dry forest (TDF) patches near Cartagena and holds a research nursery and a recently installed 1-hectare permanent plot contributing to research and education.
The primary aim of this project is to share the CBG's scientific information by publishing its collections data and the flora and fauna checklists of its forest patch. This information is vital since there is a lack of knowledge of the native flora and fauna near Cartagena. The city's continuing development threatens the TDF diversity, one of the world's most endangered ecosystems.
The project's aims in detail:
- Increase the number of published flora and fauna records of the Colombian Caribbean TDF
- Publish and finish the digitizing of the JBGP Herbarium collection by updating the taxonomic information and capturing and organizing high-resolution images of the herbarium specimens
- Publish the seed bank and living collection data by inventorying and updating the current registers
- Generate checklists of the flora and fauna that inhabits the forest patches inside and nearby the Garden
- Analyze the data from the collections and the checklists to map the distribution of Caribbean TDF native species as an input for the development of restoration plans
- Lead workshops on data analysis and publishing for students of the local Caribbean universities
The Cartagena Botanical Garden’s data mobilization team is advancing in the project achievements. Up to this point, the project published two of the five proposed datasets JBGP Seed Bank Data (1,672 occurrences) and JBGP Living Collection Data (1,403 occurrences). The seed bank and living collection registers have been updated and datasets are published as occurrences through the national node, SIB Colombia.
The herbarium digitalization has started, and high-resolution images of the herbarium specimen have been organized. Up to this point, the project revised more than 6,000 of 15,500 registers, more than 11,400 photographs taken and more than 250 new mounted specimens.
The project plan to produce and publish the Fauna checklist between July and September 2022.