INDIAN BIODIVERSITY INFORMATION SYSTEM (IBIS)
The Indian subcontinent has been extensively explored in terms of biodiversity over the years. However information on the description, status and distribution of biodiversity, essential to conservation science, planning and development is not readily accessible in user-friendly formats.
Indian Biodiversity Information System (IBIS) is a group of web-based, modular and searchable biodiversity portals, designed to bring together comprehensive information available on Indian flora and fauna in a readily accessible, free and user-friendly format on a common platform. Indian Biodiversity Information System (IBIS) has been conceptualized as an effort to fill the gap between the large amount of information available on Indian fauna and flora, and its effective and comprehensive use for conservation, planning and educational purposes.
IBIS acts as a welcome aid not only to experts developing conservation strategies for long term protection of Indian biodiversity, but in spreading awareness about the conservation of species among the general public. IBIS is modelled on the concept of ‘citizen science’ – aspiring to facilitate the participation of amateurs in the gathering of scientific data and building a free resource on Indian biodiversity. It foresees the involvement of various groups of stakeholders ranging from amateur naturalists to wildlife enthusiasts, to serious researchers, ecologists, wildlife scientists and photographers in this pioneering venture. Currently IBIS hosts portals on birds – the Avian Information System (AVIS) and mammals. It will soon be followed by similar portals on reptiles, amphibians and flora, involving individuals, organisations, researchers and scholars across India.
The IBIS portals also allows users to have an access to external links to other dedicated databases and publications, as well as a bibliography with 4,00,000+ citations on Indian birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and plants. To make the study and research more fruitful, IBIS also has all the scientific data like the taxonomic modules, excerpts from old and new literature and database on museum collections. It arranges nomenclature in older literature in line with the latest, thus making the task of referencing quicker. This also minimizes the confusion that arises due to frequently changing taxonomy and nomenclature systems in biodiversity literature. The portal also utilises an open-source software and hosts forums and picture galleries that stimulate public participation and discussions on identification and distribution of these species. It also helps users in contributing to the multimedia data on various species, making the database more comprehensive and contemporary.
IBIS is licensed under the ‘Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Licence’, giving users an opportunity to choose a licensing policy for their contribution towards the portal.