One of the fundamental issues in the conservation of biological diversity is the availability of adequate and reliable information with which to develop conservation strategies. India is an important country for bird conservation, and many efforts have been undertaken to study important and threatened bird species in the region. Much of the data and literature is archived and not easily accessible. Ongoing bird research and monitoring programmes will accumulate valuable data on various aspects of bird ecology. To make best use of all available data we propose the development of Web based database and information system on birds. This AVIS – IBIS (Avian Information System - Indian Bird Information System) would be web-based, modular and searchable, allowing users to source information on status, distribution and ecology of different bird species in the region. The proposed system can be linked to other relevant databases and information systems. Once completed IBIS would be an important tool for achieving research, conservation and education goals and may serve as a model for developing similar systems on other taxa as well. Overall it would facilitate all users to access almost all related data and information from a single location.
India has some of the world's most biodiverse regions. The political boundaries of India encompass a wide range of ecozones—desert, high mountains, highlands, tropical and temperate forests, swamplands, plains, grasslands, riverine areas as well as island archipelago. Nearly 70% of the world biodiversity is found in just 17 of 170 countries in the world thus, earning them the title “megadiverse countries.” India is one of these megadiverse countries. Further, India also has four (of about 34) “global biodiversity hotspots” - unique, biologically rich areas which are facing severe conservation threats. These hotspots have numerous endemic species. The rapid rate of hotspot degradation makes it imperative that conservation science be pursued immediately and vigorously in these habitats, to devise effective measures which would curtail the rapidly diminishing biodiversity, and to protect unique biota from the onslaught of humanity.
The value of this biodiversity is immense and its potential future value is far greater. The existing biodiversity also has the further potential to add billions of dollars to the country’s economy, in new products from its unique species, and from services such as ecotourism.
Avian Biodiversity information includes species, communities, biomes and many abiotic factors. Thus for comprehensive information on biodiversity, we are working to include information on many aspects of Avian biodiversity including Extensive Bibliography, Museum Collections, Book Excerpts etc..
We are working on the principle that biodiversity informatics should harness collective intelligence, exploit the long tail of information, and aggregate the wisdom of the crowd.
We hope to expand biodiversity knowledge by this web-based collaborative network which solicits broad-based participation from people, government, research institutions and conservation NGOs, interconnects existing databases and makes them readily accessible by all stakeholders interactively.