Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)
Project leader : Dr. Heimo Rainer
The purpose of GBIF is to summarize and to document all globally available information concerning the taxonomic biodiversity of the plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms on the level of species.
The Austrian contributions to GBIF are coordinated by the Federal Environmental Agency (UBA). The scheduled collection of articles will include a documentation of all biological collections, both of living organisms (botanical gardens, collections of agricultural plants, cultivations of algae, fungi and bacteria, zoological gardens, etc.) and of biological compounds (herbaria, collections of zoological records, etc.).
By order of KIÖS, Dr. H. RAINER has collected all collections of botanical records found in Austria, including the corresponding databases. So far, 65 relevant sets with more than 10 million objects have been registered. The range of emphasis among the collections varies from regional to national compilations and even to those of global origin. Particularly noteworthy is the Vienna Museum of Natural History, which offers collections of world-renown, due to its tradition: it is the institution with the largest number of type records in the world, on which the descriptions of animal- and plant species are based.
As an important result of the study, special attention should be given to the need for action in terms of the preservation and modernisation, as well as the necessary steps for the scientific processing, of the inventory of the collections.