OBIS has finished its third update of 2011, completing one of its largest data loads ever thanks to the sustained efforts of its partners. This 714,000 record update spans a large geographic scope and is composed of contributions from OBIS-USA, AfrOBIS, EurOBIS, OBIS Korea and OBIS Canada.
Specific additions include an extensive data collection from AfrOBIS detailing the distributions of corals, diatoms, fish and invertebrates in Madagascar, a database from EurOBIS comprised of over 645 cetacean sightings in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov and Kerch Straight, and a dataset from OBIS Canada containing the results of numerous plankton tows in the equatorial and northern Pacific during the extensive Hudson 70 expedition; the first vessel to circumnavigate the Americas. OBIS-USA has also submitted a diverse array of data collections including a benthic organism sampling survey that spans the continental shelf across 4 southern U.S. states, a survey of reef species in the Virgin Islands’ National Park and Coral Reef National Monument, and a compilation of 30 zooplankton tows over 4 years in Georges Bank. One of our relatively new nodes, OBIS-KOREA, has contributed a substantial update to their database cataloguing planktonic species in the West Sea. Finally, OBIS is excited to announce that we are serving an extensive survey of invertebrates and corals in the Gulf of Mexico, courtesy of NOAA’s Biogeography Branch. The data include sampling events before and after the BP Horizon disaster and continue to play an invaluable role in assessing the extent of marine-life devastation.
OBIS now exceeds 31.3 million records, with 939 datasets and 181,000 species. A list of new and updated datasets, including number of records and a link to a map of the records, is available here.