A bilingual open-source checklist and digitization of Taiwan’s bee fauna

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Fire-bellied leafcutter (Megachile igniscopata). Photo 2020 suchihfen via iNaturalist Research-grade Observations, licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

This project—the first to focus on species-level diversity of bees in Taiwan—is a collaboration between a government research institute, university scientists, technicians and students aimed at mobilizing data on Taiwan’s bees with the following objectives:

  1. Photograph all species (including key characteristics)
  2. Digitize data from bee specimens in collections from all seven of Taiwan's museums
  3. Barcode all species
  4. Collect in areas that have been historically undersampled, including the eastern mountains and surrounding islands

Understanding this vulnerable group of insects is essential for regional conservation. This project will establish framework for future studies in Taiwan and increase both public awareness and the network of researchers working on bees. The aim is to provide the most comprehensive view of Taiwan’s bee fauna to date.

The project will publish their findings through GBIF and via an annotated open-source checklist in both Chinese and English. Long-term goals (beyond the scope of this grant) include increasing knowledge and interest in bees through the publication of a local field guide and workshops on bee identification.

Short-term tasks will include photographing, digitizing, barcoding, and filling regional gaps and publishing the resulting records to GBIF, GenBank and BOLD and in peer-reviewed journals. While adding data to GBIF from museum records will provide firm estimates on the diversity and status of bees in Taiwan by the project's end, the team will measure its long-term success through increased interest and expertise in bees, international collaborations, species descriptions and use of the data in research and policy.

€ {{ 3371 | localNumber }}
€ {{ 3697 | localNumber }}
1 September 2021 - 28 February 2023
Project identifier
  • National Chiayi University
  • Columbia University/American Museum of Natural History
Contact details

Sheng-Shan Lu
Taiwan Forestry Research Institute
53 Nan-Hai Road
10066 Taipei