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The Antarctic Register of Marine Species in Nature
Added on 2009-05-07 16:15:12 by Ward Appeltans

In February 2009, an editorial appeared in Nature 'The way ahead for polar science'. The authors stressed that, although the 4th International Polar Year (IPY) has come to an end, polar research should remain a top priority. They also urged for setting up an open archive to collect all the data generated by IPY and to make these publicly available for further research.

Bruno Danis (KBIN) and his colleague Huw Griffiths (Brittish Antarctic Survey) very much supported this statement and reported in a letter to Nature the existence of their web portal, which is built by the Marine Biodiversity Network of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR-MarBIN). Since 2005, this portal gathers all the data and information on Antarctic marine biodiversity collected by the members of their network. The portal is online at www.scarmarbin.be.

This portal also contains the first complete Register of Antarctic Mairne Species (RAMS). This is an online authoritative register in which the quality is controlled by over 70 experts worldwide. It contains information on 15,000 taxa. RAMS is part of the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS), both are hosted by VLIZ.

This portal and species register provides the first ever, most complete information on Antarctic biodiversity, on what lives where. This was not possible before as too many data were scattered over too many places. This portal will prove to be an indispensable tool for the management and conservation of one of the most extreme and pristine places in the world. Congratulations to the RAMS coordinators and all the taxonomic editors involved.



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