How to share your biodiversity information with the Atlas

By Miles Nicholls, Atlas of Living Australia

Dedicated individuals and communities devote countless hours building up web resources with their contributions, support and moderation. What the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) is doing, is making Australian biodiversity-related online resources discoverable by putting them in context with other related resources.

The ALA will develop tools and systems to support these biodiversity-related resources wherever possible, without any intention of replacing them.

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Stick Insect © Leo Berzins

Stick Insect © Leo Berzins

The Atlas is not attempting to replace any existing website or biodiversity resource, in fact, if we did the Atlas itself would fail. We are an aggregation and discovery resource, not a content producer. If the original sources of information were to disappear, we would have nothing to display.

When an interested person searches in the ALA for a species, a species profile page is returned. It includes:

  • profile data about the species characteristics, habitat, distribution etc.
  • website attribution detailing the source of the data
  • links to other websites for further information

In order to locate your resources on the web, we need some information. There are different levels to choose between – the more detail, the more opportunities for your website resource to be discovered.

Information about your website What it allows
A description of the coverage of the website – e.g. what taxonomic groups An entry in the ALA list of Australian biodiversity resources with your website listed as a resource containing information related to those groups (at a higher taxonomy level).E.g. This website relates to insects
A list of the species and the URL of the individual sections / pages for each species Your website able to be listed as part of each relevant Atlas species page as a potential source of information for the species.E.g. This page of the website has some information for this species
Some of the characteristics on the page for each species Your website able to be listed on each ALA species page as a resource containing specific information for the species.E.g. Go to this webpage / site for habitat information on the species
Information for some / all of the characteristics Some information from your website able to be displayed on the species page and a link back to your site for the full / further information.E.g This species lives in eucalypt forest (from See this webpage / site for additional habitat information
Here is a full description of the species (from, see this webpage / site for habitat and behaviour information

Please note: If you wish to include some or all of the text from your website we will need you to complete an ALA Data Provider agreement to verify your ownership of the information, the terms of use and how you would like to be attributed. To promote re-use and provide a consistent basis for licensing the ALA encourages the use of Creative Commons 2.5 Australia licenses. The Data Provider agreement is available from the ALA website or from the ALA Data Management Team (

How to provide information to the Atlas

The simplest way is to contact us and we will provide you with a sample spreadsheet to fill in – a few fields about the site as a whole, and then rows for the details. If your website is based on a database this should be relatively easy to produce. Otherwise, a small amount of manual work is required.

We could analyse your website (with your permission) to extract the required information, but this is time-consuming and becomes out-dated with any changes to your site.

Like to discuss sharing your biodiversity information with the ALA?

If you would like to share the full content of your website we would, of course, be very interested. All information provided will subject to the terms of conditions and attribution specified in the ALA Data Provider agreement.

For further information and examples, contact Miles Nicholls, ALA Data Manager on:

phone: +61 2 6246 4463
alternative email: