specimen databases

Liliana Lara llara at XOLO.CONABIO.GOB.MX
Fri Aug 11 12:36:16 CDT 2000

The National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) was created with the purpose to promote and coordinate the efforts that are currently being made by numerous institutions and groups in Mexico along three main lines: 
-knowledge of the country's biodiversity, specially through inventories, databases and networking;
-sustainable use; and 
-diffusion of knowledge about biodiversity to the society. 

CONABIO's staff keeps developing the tools to systematize biodiversity information, this powerful tool is called Biótica©

The Biótica Information System (Biótica©)

The Biótica Information System is designed to manage curatorial data, nomenclature, geography, references and observations. It also has the object of helping, in a simple and reliable manner, capture and update recorded data.

BIÓTICA© was developed in modules one for the structure of the database and another for the system (programme), taking into account the many needs required to provide a service to the whole of the scientific community (taxonomic, biogeographic, ecological, etc.) and not only to specialist. 

The system is divided into eight parts: database, directory, nomenclature, curation, geography, bibliography, tools and help. 

The Database makes the connection to the database, permits personalised configurations to the system and contains the security option, which provides the authorised users with their respective codes and grants permission to enter the system. You can use the system in Spanish or English language.

The Directory consists of the groups of determinators and collectors, the authors of publications, as well as the institutions and

their collections.

Nomenclature. In this section the scientific names are entered and updated along with their corresponding synonyms,

basonyms, images, common names and cited references related to the information.

Curation. The information for each specimen is entered in the Curation module, such as the collection in which the specimen is housed, geography, environmental information, collection details, individual number, duplicates, the determination group, any inter-relations with other species, cited references, etc. It is important to mention that one can enter information on a specimen whether has been collected, reported in the literature and/or only observed.

The Geography section permits data to be entered related to the geographic location where the specimen was collected or observed (country, state, municipal, geographic coordinates, locality etc).

The Bibliography captures the cited references (books, journals, articles, compilations, etc.) for each specimen, taxonomic name and/or synonym.

In tools it is possible to create dynamic or predetermined reports and labels, import and export data to other systems (Biota©, Arc/Info©), and generate and manipulate information assisted by the Geographical Information System (GIS).

Help gives access to the system's help and database´s statistics (such as the number of specimens or individuals by taxonomic category, the number of specimens by location etc.). It also contains to obtain for obtaining a registration number (which is needed to use BIÓTICA), and for sending any coments or suggestions to Conabio.

BIÓTICA© catalogues include: 

Authorised taxonomic catalogues for some biological groups 
States and municipalities according to INEGI 
Vegetation types 
Biological forms 
Life forms 
Taxonomic types 

for further information see CONABIO'S web site http://www.conabio.gob.mx/biotica/acerca_biotica.html

System Requirements

In order to be able to install and use the Biótica Information System the computer must have at least the following resources:

Microsoft Windows 95 or above. 
Hard disc with a minimum of 70 MB of available space (after installing Windows) for the basic installation and a maximum of 300 MB, depending on the additional components installed. 
Minimum of 16 MB of RAM (32 MB or more is recommended). A SVGA monitor. 
The Distribution of the Biótica Information System (BIÓTICA ©)

BIÓTICA© can be downloaded from this web site or a CD can be requested. From CONABIO's web site, the latest version of the system and the instructions for installing it can be obtained.

Liliana Lara Morales
Subdirectora de Inventarios Bióticos
Av. Liga Periférico Insurgentes Sur No. 4903 
Col. Parques del Pedregal
Tlalpan 14010
México, DF
Tel  55 28 91 00
Fax 55 28 91 31
llara at xolo.conabio.gob.mx

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