Mobilising European butterfly records for GBIF
Effective butterfly conservation needs up-to-date records, preferably at detailed resolution, and easily online available as open data for research and conservation. Such data are best collected via online databases (preferably with mobile apps) or dedicated citizen science projects. In some countries, participation can be very large as in the Netherlands, where on average 400,000 records are collected per year. In contrast, in many countries such as those in Eastern and Southern Europe, the number of volunteers is far lower and there is no central system for collecting records. As these areas are among the richest for butterflies in Europe, the most important areas for butterflies are relatively poorly known. However, such areas are very popular holiday destinations of butterfly enthusiasts from North Western Europe. They frequently take notes of the butterfly species and the locations where they spotted them. Up to now most such holiday observations never get submitted to central databases. Only in rare occasions such observations are transferred to the national partners of Butterfly Conservation Europe to be used for local or national butterfly conservation.
BCE sees it as one of its main objectives to provide open access to butterfly distribution data. This project foresees achieving this for the “butterfly holiday data”, by publishing these data in GBIF. In addition, the project intends to explore the views of BCE’s European partners on sharing their data via GBIF and even assist them in developing infrastructure to do so. This will focus primarily on holiday observations and ‘old’ atlas data, but it may also include facilitating the publication in GBIF of records from recent observations. These data are expected to be useful for several purposes, e.g. to determine species distribution trends. The project foresees the publication of a data paper that conforms to https://www.gbif.org/data-papers.
For further information, please contact the Dutch Butterfly Conservation, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.