[Taxacom] Chameleons, GBIF, and the Red List

Dilrukshan Wijesinghe dpwijesinghe at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 19 10:39:45 CDT 2014

>From abstract: "..online databases are not an adequate substitute for taxonomic experts in assessing the threatened status of species and that Red List assessments may be compromised unless this extra step of verification is carried out."

Some might say that online databases compiled and maintained by non-experts are worse than useless, being compendiums of misinformation. Sadly, the prevailing mentality seems to be "they cost such a lot, they must be worth something"!


D. P. Wijesinghe
dpwijesinghe at yahoo.com

 From: Roderic Page <Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk>
To: taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> 
Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 10:27 AM
Subject: [Taxacom] Chameleons, GBIF, and the Red List

Readers of TAXACOM may have come across the following paper on the relative merits of GBIF data and expert-curated data:

Hjarding, A., Tolley, K. A., & Burgess, N. D. (2014, July 10). Red List assessments of East African chameleons: a case study of why we need experts. Oryx. Cambridge University Press (CUP). http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0030605313001427

It’s behind a paywall, but there’s been some discussion on iPhylo http://iphylo.blogspot.com/2014/08/seven-percent-of-gbif-data-is-usable.html , and Angelique and her co-authors have written a thoughtful response: http://iphylo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/guest-post-response-to-discussion-on.html

Feels a little like throwing the lions some red meat :O but I’d be interested in people’s views on whether the kinds of issues the authors experienced with GBIF data are common, and thoughts on how best to tackle them.



Roderic Page
Professor of Taxonomy
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences
Graham Kerr Building
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK

Email:  Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk<mailto:Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk>
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Blog:  http://iphylo.blogspot.com
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Citations:  http://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?hl=en&user=4Z5WABAAAAAJ

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