Atlas background

See also Atlas governance for information on how the Atlas is governed.


The Atlas was initiated by a group of 14 (now 17) organisations—our partners. The intent was to create a national database of all of Australia’s flora and fauna that could be accessed through a single, easy to use web site. Information on the site would be used to:

  • improve our understanding of Australian biodiversity
  • assist researchers to build a more detailed picture of Australia’s biodiversity
  • assist environmental managers and policy makers develop more effective means of managing and sustaining Australia’s biodiversity.

See Atlas partners for a list of the Atlas’s partners.


Funding for the Atlas was provided by the Australian Government under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) and the Super Science Initiative (SSI), part of the Education Investment Fund. The Atlas partners have provided considerable in-kind contributions.

International relationships

In developing the Atlas, strong relationships have been created for sharing  biodiversity data, resources and experiences with related international organisations such as:

Related projects

The Atlas has also worked closely with other NCRIS funded projects to develop common approaches and standards and to share application development where possible. These projects are:

Role of CSIRO

Development and administration of the Atlas has been undertaken by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) on behalf of all the partners and the funding organisation.

Background documents

For background documents on the Atlas, see:

  • Publications for a list of publications available on the Atlas
  • Presentations for a list of presentations delivered by Atlas staff