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Old 08-27-2009, 08:02 PM   #1
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Default BIODIVERSITY: Amateur Biologists Join Global Bid to Catalog Species

BIODIVERSITY: Amateur Biologists Join Global Bid to Catalog Species
By Stephen Leahy

UXBRIDGE, Canada, Aug 25 (IPS) - Save the living environment and the physical environment will automatically be saved, according to E.O. Wilson, the world's leading biologist and father of the online Encyclopedia of Life, which plans to create a web page for every known species - all 1.8-plus million.

BIODIVERSITY: Amateur Biologists Join Global Bid to Catalog Species - IPS ipsnews.net
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But that fundamental reality is not well understood by the public and little progress has been made in preventing the destruction of ecosystems and species, Wilson recently told the New Scientist magazine. That's why Wilson came up with the idea in 2003 to create a publicly accessible, interactive Encyclopedia of Life (EOL).

Launched in 2008, the EOL is growing quickly with 170,000 entries, over 30,000 still images and video - with some provided by members of the public.

"We want to engage the public. With the EOL they can survey the species in their yard and neighbourhoods and report what they find," said James Edwards, EOL's executive director based at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

"We'd love to see everyone become a 'field biologist' and submit what they've found," he said.

Societal understanding and support is crucial to slow and reverse the loss of ecosystems and species, Edwards told IPS. "If we can't do that, we all will be in deep trouble," he said.

Entries, including images, submitted by birdwatchers, backyard biologists, high school students and nature lovers will be posted on the pages with a yellow background indicating the accuracy of the content has not been verified by an expert. Scientists will then check out the information, ask a few questions and if the data is accurate, the yellow background will be removed, said Edwards.
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Old 08-27-2009, 08:03 PM   #2
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