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17th century Dutch explorers help the Atlas reach a major milestone -- 30 million records
Date:4/4/2012

The Atlas of Living Australia added its 30 millionth species occurrence record last week, making it the largest collection of rich information on Australia's plants, animals and fungi.

The Atlas, a collaboration between all Australian museums, herbaria and biological collections, CSIRO, Adelaide and Southern Cross Universities and the Commonwealth Government, reached this milestone when over half a million records from Birdlife Australia were incorporated. Some of these records come from the diaries of 17th Century Dutch navigators, such as the record for a Brush Bronzewing dated 1629.

"The Atlas is a unique national repository for rich data on all Australian life forms from bacteria to kangaroos, land-based to marine, native and non-native," says Dr John La Salle, Director of the Atlas of Living Australia.

"Together with information about the whole range of Australian species, the Atlas contains many different types of data, including photos, distribution, maps and mapping tools, DNA sequences, scientific and common names, conservation status, identification keys and heritage literature."

The Atlas provides access to over 350 large and small datasets, from the NSW Government's Atlas of Wildlife to the records of a community group who look after a local creek.

Dr John Hooper from the Queensland Museum, Chair of the Atlas Management Committee and Chair of the Council of Heads of Australian Faunal Collections (CHAFC), noted: "This is a substantial milestone for the Atlas community. The array of records and tools now available are providing value to researchers, teachers, students, natural resource managers and anyone who would like to know more about the living world, identify species or understand their distribution."

One of the applications in the Atlas, 'Explore Your Area', allows you to enter an address or location to find the recorded species nearby. At the click of a button you can create a list and ma
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Contact: Lynne Sealie
Lynne.Sealie@csiro.au
61-262-465-901
CSIRO Australia
Source:Eurekalert

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