Starting today, the portal eBiodiversity that brings together data on the living nature of Estonia in a single virtual environment takes on a new, more user-friendly look.
ʻIf you are curious about the natural environment around your home, your kindergarten or your workplace, the information that you seek is available from eBiodiversity portal by a few clicks of the mouse,’ says Urmas Kõljalg, Director of the University of Tartu Museum of Natural History and of the University’s Botanical Garden. ʻThe portal’s data on our natural environment can also be used when preparing environmental impact assessments regarding building projects or infrastructure.’ He added that the portal has been making information on the biodiversity that surrounds us visible and accessible to everyone for the last ten years.
The new UI of the portal features map and mobile apps that provide information on more than 28,000 species found in Estonia. The portal includes more than 3 million data entries. In addition to the birds and the mammals, it presents information – ranging from observations to genetics data – on plants, fungi and bacteria.
ʻThe portal eBiodiversity is a good example of an open and forward-looking data management strategy adopted by a country with respect to its natural environment. The data have been assembled into a single database that has been made easily searchable and allows fast downloads,’ Kõljalg said.
The new look of the portal will be inaugurated at the workshop of the 10th European Node Meeting of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility that will be held in Tallinn today, on May 16. A video stream of the workshop is accessible at https://media.hitsa.ee/GBIF/.
Dedicated to the centenary of the Republic of Estonia, on June 16 the first Estonia-wide marathon of nature observation will take place, aiming to enter as much nature observation data as possible into the eBiodiversity portal within the space of 24 hours.
In 2017, the eBiodiversity data portal created by the University of Tartu Natural History Museum and the Botanical Garden logged 105,613 unique visits from 81 countries and 633,897 views. Next to Estonian residents, the most active users of the portal are nature lovers from Finland, the Netherlands, Latvia and the UK. The portal provides access to Estonian natural history collections as well as to public information in the country’s environment monitoring and nature observation databases.
The aim of the portal’s creators was to increase people’s awareness of living nature and the environment around us and to protect the species and ecosystems that surround us. In addition, recording the biodiversity of Estonia’s nature facilitates the mapping of the status of species living in Estonia.
Additional information: Urmas Kõljalg, Director of UT Natural HIstory MUseum and Botanical Garden, tel. 5341 2823, firstname.lastname@example.org