Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
Introduction to the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
What is the VBA?
The VBA is a new, web-based information system designed to manage information about native and naturalised species occurring in Victoria. The system will include species attribute information, including origin, conservation status, vital attributes and life-form, along with more than six million records of species distribution and abundance, including systematic survey data, herbarium and museum records, and general observations. The VBA will replace several existing systems, including the Flora Information System, the Atlas of Victorian Wildlife, the Aquatic Fauna Database and the VROTPop system.
Which species are included?
The VBA encompasses vertebrate and invertebrate animals, vascular and non-vascular plants, and fungi; it also encompasses terrestrial and aquatic environments, including marine waters to the three nautical mile statutory limit. It includes both native and naturalised exotic species (including weeds and pests) but is not intended to hold data on cultivated or domesticated species.
How do I get access?
The VBA will be available shortly and can be accessed via your web browser. No local software installation is required. Several levels of access will be available: the general public will have access to basic information; registered users will include view only users and data contributors.
Can I see all the data?
No – DEPI restricts access to some species location data in order to prevent illegal taking or destruction. Examples of restricted data include breeding sites for some parrots, which might be targeted by egg collectors. These data are however made available to decision makers to ensure that these sites are protected as far as possible from inappropriate land use or development. DEPI also restricts access to data that have not been reviewed – only the contributor and the expert reviewers have access to these data until they are accepted.
Who manages the data?
DEPI will manage the data in conjunction with key partners, including reviewing new records and managing the consequences of taxonomic and nomeclatural (naming) changes.
Is there a cost?
Access to the data will generally be free of charge for public users and Data Exchange Agreement holders but there may be restrictions on use and/or costs imposed by the data owners (not all of data in the VBA are owned by DEPI). Fees might also be charged in cases where organisations seek access to data under a Data Access Licensing Agreement.
VBA development is nearing completion. The developer is Dialog Information Technology Pty Ltd. At this stage, the VBA general release has been put back to early 2013 while we complete in house training and final testing of the application.
DEPI is currently developing training materials and courses to support the introduction of the VBA. Training will be available on a user-pays basis. One day courses for data contributors will be scheduled in the new year at a cost of $475 per person. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain information about forthcoming training sessions.
Other simple training material will be provided free of charge for public (unregistered) users.
Further information can be obtained by emailing email@example.com