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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Research project: Mobilising bat occurrence data in Zambia

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The purpose of this project is to collate, enhance and mobilise data pertaining to the taxonomy, behaviour and ecology of Zambian bats.

Zambia’s National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan identified “inadequate biodiversity trend data” and “lack of capacity” as serious issues limiting Zambia’s ability to prioritise biodiversity investment and implement conservation strategies. Zambian bats account for ~31% of Zambian mammalian biodiversity and provide valuable ecosystem services. Bats are understudied due to their elusive behaviour and difficulties identifying cryptic species; consequently, the distribution and ecology of bats are poorly known in relation to other taxa.

Main objectives

1. Enhance the quality of ~500 museum bat specimen data, through morphological examination and molecular analysis to confirm species identity.
2. Collate data from other museums and previous research (>900) and cross reference to existing records on GBIF.
3. Extract species occurrence data from ~1000 pre-existing and verified bat acoustic calls.
4. Mobilise bat occurrence data not currently on GBIF.
5. Make bat distribution data available to researchers and policy-makers.

Funded by: GBIF & EU Biodiversity Information for Development Data Mobilization Grant.

Related research groups

Ecology and Evolution
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