Filing system < Taxonomic authority files and links to other databases > Bibliography

3.6 — Taxonomic authority files and links to other databases

Taxonomic authority files form the backbone for any biodiversity informatics project, providing up-to-date species lists and possible links to other databases. The species authority files used by the GROMS are listed in Table 2.1. FishBase (Froese & Pauly 2001) is the only digital list including subspecies and populations ("stocks"). For all other groups, most of the species names and all subspecies names were entered manually, but partial lists were contributed in electronic format (see acknowledgements and data contributors). Considerable inconsistencies were diagnosed between bird names used by major reference works or handbooks, such as Sibley & Monroe (1991) or del Hoyo et al. (1992-2001). Species names from the latter are stored as "important synonyms", because it was used as a source for maps and subspecies names. Therefore, names are nor a reliable link to other databases, and species index numbers (IDs) from major databases are stored within separate fields of the species table. Experienced users can use these fields for a direct connection to other databases, such as the International Red List (Hilton-Taylor 2000) or Fishbase (Froese & Pauly 2001). Species index numbers are hopefully more resistant against taxonomic changes, and allow easier update of information between the different databases. An additional, more user-friendly link is provided by hyperlinks, which appear within the species report. Clicking on this "hotlink" launches a web-browser and recalls a more comprehensive species report from another website or database on the Internet.

Similar problems were encountered with higher taxonomy (families and orders). An adequate coverage of existing systems would require parallel management of taxonomy. This will be the task of the previously mentioned taxonomy initiatives (see chapter 2), and exceeds the scope of GROMS and probably any other thematic database. Therefore, GROMS uses well-established groups names such as "waterbirds" or "raptors", in addition to systematic hierarchies. These categories are more familiar for the non-specialist, and are frequently used by conservationists.

Filing system < Taxonomic authority files and links to other databases > Bibliography

This document should be quoted as part of the publication "Riede, K. (2001): The Global Register of Migratory Species ­ Database, GIS Maps and Threat Analysis. Münster (Landwirtschaftsverlag), 400 pp." + CD

 by Klaus Riede