Determination and Georeferencing of Locality Coordinates for Museum and Literature Records for Inclusion in an Atlas of the Amphibians and Reptiles of Florida
   Kenneth Krysko, University of Florida

Abstract: In the State of Florida there are at least 142 native and 45 non-native amphibians and reptiles. Currently, geographic distributional records for amphibian and reptiles in Florida must refer to the most current sources (Ashton 1985, Ashton 1988a, 1988b), which are based only on species-county occurrences and are grossly out of date. In this project, we propose to complete an "Atlas of the Amphibians and Reptiles of Florida," which would not only update this information but also serve as the taxonomic authority to the myriad of individuals in need of this information.The objective are to georeference all known specimens in natural history collections and literature records of amphibians and reptiles from Florida. Create geographic distribution maps for each species. Create an Atlas of the Amphibians and Reptiles of Florida. The most notable benefit of this project is to have a current book on the geographic distribution of amphibians and reptiles of Florida. This will be valuable to the public, as well as researchers, land managers, and personnel responsible for assessing impacts of proposed developments. The distributional information will also help address the following areas: 1) Status of key nongame species, 2) status of endemic animals and plants in Florida, and 3) database for nongame species. Georeferencing specimens in natural history collections is important for recognizing biodiversity around the world and for assisting researchers in conservation biology, ecology, phylogenetics, and biodiversity informatics. Georeferencing of taxa and regions in the herpetological community is currently being funded through a National Science Foundation funded project (NSF No. 0132303) called HerpNet, which ends in April 2008. There is currently a global network of 52 institutions (including the University of Florida [UF]) collaborating in HerpNet with more than 5.5 million specimens. University of Florida has agreed to georeference only Florida specimens from each institution. Additional funded georeferencing projects have also begun for mammals (MaNIS), fishes, (FishNetII), birds (ORNIS), and the biodiversity in the southern and central Rocky Mountains and the northern plains (MaPSTeDi). A total of 58,722 Florida specimens remain to be georeferenced, including 32,917 at UF, 11,531 from other HerpNet institutions, and 14,274 from non-HerpNet institutions. HerpNet estimated that 11 specimens (of United States origin) can be georeferenced each hour. Based on this estimate, we project that an additional 2,420 Florida specimens will be completed for georeferencing by the end of our HerpNet funding in April 2008. Thus, 56,302 Florida specimens will remain to be georeferenced at that time.

Award Matching Funds Total
$59,000.00 $59,000.00 $118,000.00

Year Funded Starting Date Ending Date
2008 7/1/2008 2/15/2012

Location: Statewide

Final report