Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

McNair , Mason C [1], Cruse-Sanders, Jennifer [2], Leebens-Mack, Jim [3].

Conservation Data Management in the Digital Age.

We have seen a boom of digital information sharing and availability, making scientific data available to the public through open databases such as GBIF, iDigBio, SERNEC, and iNaturalist. In the past few years, there have been increasing community demand and major funding opportunities to digitize collections data from herbaria, botanical gardens, and museums. Imaging and on-line posts of thousands of pressed specimens including their labels has propelled collections-based taxonomic, phytogeographic, floristic, and ecological research. Herbarium specimen labels contain valuable information documenting the locality and plant communities from which plants were collected. Conservation scientists and resource managers often compile and database location data while conducting research in order to advance efforts to understand and preserve imperiled plants. This compiled data is often deposited in databases at the conclusion of the study. While such information is quite useful for plant conservation, it can also be used by poachers, increase unwanted foot traffic, and lead to anthropogenic habitat destruction of both imperiled and native plant populations. Databasing and dissemination of detailed distribution maps and herbarium label information can conflict with the goals of protecting imperiled plant species and communities. In order to minimize risk, label information for imperiled species is typically redacted from publicly accessible databases, but digital data breaches can and do occur. We will present perspectives on data security gained through interviews of professional botanists, conservation biologists, landowners, and natural resource managers including those who may be requesting or granting collection permits. Ultimately, this work will contribute to the development of guidelines for secure collection, management, and usage of digital data associated with specimens of conservation concern. We hope that such guidelines may be widely disseminated to those applying for research collection permits, increasing the security of imperiled plant populations.

1 - University of Georgia, Plant Biology, 120 Carlton Street, Rm. 2509, Athens, Georgia, 30602-5004, United States
2 - University Of Georgia, State Botanical Garden Of Georgia, 2450 South Milledge Ave., Athens, GA, 30605, United States
3 - University Of Georgia, Plant Biology, 2101 Miller Plant Sciences, Athens, GA, 30602, United States

open data
rare species
Critically Endangered

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: CB1, Conservation Biology 1
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2020
Time: 11:00 AM
Number: CB1005
Abstract ID:603
Candidate for Awards:None

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