Capturing and disseminating species population and range data using online tools.

This Knowledge Cafe will demonstrate the newly-developed tool which has been built to collect, analyze and disseminate species population and range data. The tool is based on the IUCN/SSC African Elephant Specialist Group (AfESG)´s African Elephant Database, and takes advantage of recent advances in web technology to enhance the ability of Specialist Groups to collect and collate data and to ensure that these data can be analyzed and disseminated more frequently. The collation of population data permits efficient, accurate and robust estimation of extinction risk under the IUCN Red List criteria, and the spatial data can be used to present a detailed range map of the species. The new tool, which was developed in partnership with the Asian Elephant Specialist Group, has multi-species functionality, and in particular has potential for use by many other taxa (giraffe, buffalo, some antelopes, rhinos, apes, lions, wild dogs, etc.)

As an open source project, there are many ways for other Specialist Groups to take advantage of the infrastructure and the methodology. The Knowledge Cafe will demonstrate the new system and the opportunities it presents for other Specialist Groups and interested partners that need systematized, robust ways of collecting, analyzing and disseminating information on the population status of their species. It is intended to present the African elephant and Asian elephant data sets to date during the Knowledge Café along with a potential additional Specialist Group. The Knowledge Cafe will also utilize the expertise of the participants to discuss ideas for further developments of the system, including the development of simple PDF-generators to allow other Specialist Groups to produce documents similar to the African Elephant Status Report, as well as online bibliographic infrastructure.

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