New guide for compiling national species checklists

October 23rd, 2012
The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) has published a new guide on policies and procedures to capture information for national species checklists.

The Best practice guide for compiling, maintaining and disseminating national species checklists is a tool to help improve the capacity of a country to document, and thus better manage, its biodiversity. Freely available through GBIF's Online Resource Centre, it draws on the particular experiences of South Africa's checklist development to offer insights and detailed advice relevant to other countries.

The document presents guidance on the format checklists or inventories can take, their scope and procedures for compiling and maintaining them. It also details the critical data to include in a list, and advice on classification systems, species names and references.

One of the authors of the new guide, Michelle Hamer from the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) says, "Inventories of biodiversity remain some of the most fundamental tools for the wise management of the living resources of any country. Such inventories, or checklists, provide clarity on the status of names and the classification of species and subspecies.

"With expertise on components of biodiversity dwindling in some instances, guidelines are provided on how the task of establishing inventories of biodiversity can be initiated and streamlined, and these important management tools maintained."

The best practice guide notes that data on species occurrences published through GBIF, for example from herbarium and museum records, can be useful resources for compiling national species checklists. The checklists themselves can also be published through GBIF.

Provided by Global Biodiversity Information Facility

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