20 years of biodiversity data collecting at Ljubljana Moor, Slovenia demonstrated that biodiversity data gathering is not a sprint but rather a marathon.
During the last decades, the amount of data on species occurrences has been rapidly increasing. Accordingly, a strong need for data digitalization and user-friendly data organization occured.
Centre for Cartography of Fauna and Flora (CKFF) was established with the aim to collect and organize data and information about occurrence of plant and animal species in Slovenia in a single database and further disseminate it to different end users. Approximately 20 years ago, CKFF estimated that in Slovenia there is a huge amount of data that were scattered between different data collectors and public organizations, most of them were not digitized yet. At first, CKFF organized accessible data on dragonflies and amphibians in the GIS supported relational database, and soon afterwards, they included data on plants and most animal groups. Up to day, more than 1,750,000 records have been accumulated in the database. The database is constantly developing and improving.
The CKFF developed also an interactive interface between the users and database – BioPortal. The content of the CKFF database is partially accessible through BioPortal (http://www.bioportal.si/).
The data from CKFF database can be used for preparing Species Atlases or national species lists, as a support for answering research questions, to develop management schemes for protected areas, support nature conservation efforts, or in environmental impact assessments.
So far (until 2018), work of 30 years/person was needed to develop and maintain CKFF database. Over 2,000 individuals have been participating and are still active in providing data for CKKF database.
Evidence of success
Using the CKFF database, the Atlas of Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera (2012), Atlas of Chiroptera (2009), Materials for the Atlas of Flora of Slovenia (2001) and Atlas of Odonata (1997) were produced for Slovenia, two national species lists, for micromoths (Microlepidoptera) and spiders (Araneae) were also published. Additionally, several scientific publications are based on data from CKFF database as well as an array of environmental impact assesments at local, regional or national level.
Process of collecting biodiversity data must be organised independently of current needs and users, with data stored in original form. Adjustment to users and interpretation is part of next step, data dissemination. Moreover, the social circumstances are extremely important in the process of data fl
Potential for learning or transfer
The lessons learned during the past 20 years of data collecting, organizing and disseminating can provide information on efficient technical solutions when working with enormous biological datasets at one side, and information how to improve the data flow from data collectors to end users and how to avoid pitfalls on the other side.
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