A species profile is simply a description of the characteristics of a species. Characteristics cover topics such as:
A species profile is information about a species that can be generalised to the species as a whole rather than to an observation of an individual member of the species. Profile information includes:
A species profile may be unstructured or structured. Most profiles in the Atlas are unstructured, ie the information is usually in the form of blocks of text extracted from websites and other literature.
Structured profiles, on the other hand, rely on specific vocabularies and defined formats, eg a spreadsheet or database. They may be used to analyse species according to the values of the vocabularies and can be used in conjunction with occurrence data of related species in biodiversity modelling.
The Atlas displays expert distributions through the spatial portal. We would like to expand the number of expert distributions we have, so we are interested in speaking to anyone who is willing to share expert-authored species distribution information. We would also intend using such polygonal information as a check for outlier records for taxa, hence feeding in to improved data quality.
While the Atlas goes to considerable effort to ensure it knows about all Australian species, there are some circumstances in which the Atlas may not know about a species you are interested in. These include the:
The Atlas is bringing together information from many sources and seeks to link together information provided under different scientific names, where these names are considered to be synonyms of a single species. However, many names which should be treated as synonyms are not covered by our data sources.
Some species in the Atlas are linked to the wrong part of the taxonomic hierarchy and are presented with an incorrect classification, eg:
As there is no source for a complete listing of all species names, the Atlas uses automated tools like the Interim Register of Marine and Non-marine Genera (IRMNG) to construct a best-estimate classification tree. This often creates a tentative association with the appropriate genus, but the association may be incorrect as:
The Atlas is collaborating with a range of partners such as the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) to obtain high quality pest status information. This information will be added to the Atlas when available.
The Commonwealth and each Australian state and territory has legislation protecting flora and fauna, and each uses its own classifications for conservation status. The Atlas displays all the classifications along with those of the International Union for Conservation. For more information see Conservation Status related data sets.
Because the Atlas relies on others to provide data it can only display the data it has. As more data is provided, more content will appear on pages.
If you have any data, please share them with the Atlas.
A list of conservation species is available at http://lists.ala.org.au/public/sdsLists.