Biological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas Surpass Half a Million Records!


For over 20 years, the Information Center for the Environment (ICE), in cooperation with numerous collaborators, has been developing databases containing documented, taxonomically harmonized species inventories of plants and animals reported from the world's protected areas.  These databases provide access to information that is otherwise largely unavailable via the Internet and provide a mechanism for protected areas to publish their species' inventories when they would otherwise be unable to do so.

These databases utilize controlled vocabularies, most importantly site and species names, in an attempt to adhere to international standards and to provide reliable query results.  The names (and associated geographic coordinates, dates of establishment, etc.) of the protected areas in the databases follow those in the World Database on Protected Areas.  Species names of both plants and animals are harmonzied to widely recognized taxonomic standards.  The names of species in the databases are updated regularly to reflect advances in our understanding of species' relationships and accepted naming conventions.

In January, 2010 the Biological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas surpassed 500,000 records, and currently contain 503,353 records from 1,434 protected areas in 133 countries.  These databases are used by a wide variety of investigators seeking answers to questions of scientific, management, policy, and recreational interest.