The Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) is Australia’s national biodiversity database. It provides free, online access to information about Australia’s amazing biodiversity.

ALA is hosted by CSIRO so any GovHack 2019 entries that use ALA data will be eligible for either of the two CSIRO challenges.

TL;DR – just take me to the API docs…

The data contained within the ALA has been fully parsed, processed and augmented with consistent taxonomic, geolocation and climate/environmental data. Our data API provides access to over 85+ million species occurrence records as well as taxonomic and scientific name information for over 200,000 species, complete with geospatial, taxonomic and temporal searching & filtering as well as bulk downloads for use “offline”.

Services ALA provides:

Exploring biodiversity data

ALA species and occurrence record web pages are consumers of our web services, so using our web UI is a great way to explore data and to see how to call the various web services.

E.g. This occurrence records page for the Bearded Dragon:
the URL can be manipulated by adding a path prefix of ‘/ws‘ to get the JSON version:


  • Display a map of known species occurrences in Australia for the Koala (web; PNG; WMS tile)
  • Download all the species occurrence records for all Eucalyptus species in NSW (web; CSV)
  • Download a list of reptile species that occur in a 5km radius of the Sydney Opera house (web; JSON; CSV)
  • Get a list of all bird records for the decade 1980-1989 (web; JSON)
  • Find an image of a particular species, e.g. Gang-Gang Cockatoo (web; JSON)

For more information on ALA data access, visit the ALA Help site, send us an email at or (during GovHack) use the Slack channel #talk-csiro.