Chinese NGO contributes biodiversity data to global platform

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The China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation, a leading Chinese non-profit in its field, has contributed significant data about Chinese endangered species to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, an international open biodiversity data network, according to a press conference held on Tuesday.

The press conference came after GBIF announced that as of July 4, its species occurrence records surpassed 1 billion. GBIF executive secretary Donald Hobern said access to the 1 billion records, together with big data analyses, can provide an effective reference for global biodiversity conservation, helping to form a dynamic network for global users free of charge. 

On July 9, the Biodiversity Committee of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the only associate participant of GBIF in China, endorsed CBCGDF as the publisher of GBIF data.

This year, the CBCGDF contributed records of a baiji dolphin, seen on April 18, to the GBIF system. This is the first time visual records and observation data about the species have been obtained since the species was declared extinct in 2007. The last GBIF record of the Chinese river dolphin was in December 1921.   

The foundation also contributed for the first time new data on the Chinese pangolin to, a second-tier platform of the GBIF, 34 years after GBIF's last record of the species – a dead specimen found in 1984. The Chinese pangolin is a critically endangered species, previously seen often in the wild in China, but rarely spotted over the past 20 years.

The recent pangolin observation was recorded on the evening of May 28, when two young men spotted an injured pangolin and reported it to the local forestry authorities immediately in southeastern China’s Jiangxi province. After proper treatment, the pangolin was released into the wild. 

Meanwhile, GBIF has abundant data on the great bustard bird, but records from China have been scant. The number of great bustards in Asia is less than 1,000, with observation records mainly occurring in northern China, Mongolia and far eastern Russia. 

Then  CBCGDF contributed a significant 394 occurrence records on the bird to by including the public in an observation activity held on Jan. 13, 2018, thereby setting an example of encouraging "citizen scientists" to participate in biodiversity observation and data recording.

GBIF and CBCGDF believe sharing more Chinese biodiversity data will contribute to the realization of the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Goals, and will also lay a solid foundation for the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, to be held in China in 2020.

As the largest and most influential network of biodiversity information services in the world, the GBIF, established in 2001, shares raw biodiversity data and integrates relevant databases from around the world to form an open platform, thus promoting biodiversity research, conservation and sustainable utilization.

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