Achieving the digitization of biological collections from the Pacific

TitleAchieving the digitization of biological collections from the Pacific
Publication TypePresentation
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsJames, Shelley
KeywordsSmall Collections Symposium SPNHC 2014
AbstractThe Pacific Basin, with its more than 4,500 islands exhibiting a wide range of geology and ecosystems, is among the most threatened biodiversity regions in the world. Baseline species occurrence data is critical for conservation in the Pacific, for biogeographic studies, targeting regions for biodiversity surveys and discovering new species, invasive species documentation, and for taxonomic research. Despite the challenges of funding, infrastructure, and remoteness, numerous initiatives have been established to facilitate the digitization of biological collections from the region. Collaborations between the Bishop Museum, University of Hawaii at Manoa, National Tropical Botanical Garden, University of Guam, and other herbaria located in Hawaii, American Samoa, Samoa, Tonga, Palau, Fiji, and the US have resulted in the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Consortium of Pacific Herbaria and Macroalgal Herbarium Consortium. Botanical collections from New Guinea are being digitized and made available through the PNGPlants project, and the Global Plants Initiative is making available Type specimens from the region. Other NSF-funded projects are enabling the digitization of insect and vertebrate collections from the region. Initiatives such as the Hawaii Biological Survey and Pacific Biological Survey are helping with the documentation of the biodiversity of the region, and discussions are ongoing to secure funding to accelerate the digitization and collate biodiversity data from the Pacific, making it readily accessible to researchers, resources managers, and interested public across the world.