City-based NCL plays host to top American and Indian scientists to chart a map for creating electronic catalogue on biodiversity
Imagine: life on the planet, a complete history on the web!
KARTYK VENKATRAMAN In a bid to convert this vi- huge volumes of taxo- the US to create awareness. over 90,000 entries alongwith
DECEMBER 9 sion into reality and bring IT nomical information. His co-US delegate Michael 48,000 synonyms and 15,078 com-
to the taxonomist (biodiver- "Our data would be Ruggiero, director, Integrated Tax- mon names. Apart from this are ex-
MAGINE a future where a sity researcher) the National useful to experts in onomic Information System haustive entries on flora, fungi,
global warning system alerts Chemical Laboratory identifying endangered (ITIS), USGS-Smithsonian Insti- viruses, microbes, threatened and
farmers on a possible inva- (NCL) played host to an species and invasive tution hit the nail on the head. "It's invasive species.
sion by crop-killing pests, an Indo-US joint international ones. been almost 200 years of naming Vishwas Chavan, scientist at
ecosystem is saved before a super- workshop on Biodiversity In- "We are in the species all over the world, but the NCL who is coordinating work at
highway is constructed, an area is formatics. Attended by 45 process of digitising in- data wasn't digitised. The same NCBI, says most of the data has
identified by forest officials as a Indian and eight American formation on biodiver- species are identified by different been sourced from the Kolkata-
wildlife sanctuary before it's too delegates specialising in IT sity in North America names in various parts of the world. based Zoological Survey of India
late. and biodiversity, as well as and in other parts of the Our's is a standard checklist for (ZSI), as also from printed re-
And all this done by accessing a NCL scientists, the three-day world. These three days North American biodiversity, pro- search papers.
comprehensive, globally interoper- meet, which ended on in Pune has seen a lot of viding authoritative information." "There is a lot of information,
able online electronic catalogue on Thursday, looked at identify- information and idea In India, the NCL Centre for but it's locked up in cupboards all
biodiversity — one that lists hun- ing various areas of collabo- exchange," Mosesso Biodiversity Informatics (NCBI) over the country. The challenge is
dreds of thousands of flora and ration. Log on to www.ncbi.org.in for a catalogue on biodiversity told Pune Newsline. has since 2001 put together a com- to open these cupboards. This web-
fauna species, geographically with John Mosesso, US Geo- Though largely a scien- prehensive website site would make biodiversity re-
complete data on each and every logical Survey (biological resources it's a little too early to say a solution tific endeavour, Mosesso said some www.ncbi.org.in — where the sec- searchers' job much easier," he
entry. discipline), is upfront when he says has been reached in collating the corporates were being involved in tion on Indian fauna alone contains said.