Virtual Museum

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VM home-page

The Virtual Museum is a database system and corresponding web front-end. It is a research tool with the following main objectives:

  1. to provide a platform for citizen scientists to contribute to science-driven biodiversity projects; submitted records are identified and vetted online by a panel of experts
  2. to serve as a repository for the long term curation of distributional data sets
  3. to provide open access to distributional data in the form of maps and lists; and
  4. to provide a platform to carry out the conservation assessment of any taxa according to IUCN guidelines and criteria as the VM includes an independent implementation of IUCN's Species Information Service database. This is a key component since allows experts widely dispersed geographically to collaborate in the conservation assessment of a given taxa; it greatly simplifies the logistics of coordinating the assessment of hundreds of species and scores of authors, evaluators and editors, all in a centralized database that provides the most up-to-date distributional data available for the taxa under review.

The Virtual Museum has been used as the platform for the conservation assessment of reptiles (project completed), butterflies (project completed), and birds (ongoing).

Currently the Virtual Museum hosts the following projects:

  1. BirdPix (repository of bird pictures)
  2. BOP (odd plumages of birds)
  3. EchinoMAP (sea stars, sea urchins and brittle stars)
  4. FrogMAP (frogs)
  5. LepiMAP (moth & butterflies)
  6. MammalMAP (mammals of Africa)
  7. OdonataMAP (dragonflies and damselflies)
  8. PHOWN (weaver nests), ReptileMAP (reptiles)
  9. RDBB (red-data book of birds, a conservation assessment only project)
  10. ScorpionMAP (scorpions)
  11. SpiderMAP (spiders)
  12. ViTH (trees)

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Nicolau Gary Kyle
Chiromantis xerampelina
Southern Foam Nest Frog (Rhacophoridae)