Frequently Asked Questions

ABP Overview

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What is the ABP?

Last Update at 2022/08/16

ABP is a collaborative, digital and open infrastructure that aggregates biodiversity data of the Azores from multiple sources to make it accessible for education, research and innovation. (see About us for further information).

The ABP receives support through the Regional Government of the Azores and is hosted by the University of the Azores.

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Who contributes data to the ABP?

Last update at 2022/08/16

Data in the ABP is provided by a wide range of sources and individuals, community groups, organisations and public institutions (see About us for further information).

Submitted data is checked and validated by the ABP Team’s specialists (see Current Team Members for further information).

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What types of records are available in ABP?

Last update at 2022/08/16

ABP displays information based on the following type of records:

  • a specimen—an organism, photograph, sound or other multimedia file of a species that has been scientifically collected by, and managed in a natural history collection or herbarium from a museum or research facility
  • an observation—a record of the sighting of an organism by an individual or member of an organisation. Observations may be supported by multimedia files such as a photograph.

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How to use images from the Azores Biodiversity Portal?

Last update at 2022/08/16

Most plant and animal images available on the ABP website are provided under a Creative Commons (CC) license and/or copyright. If the images are covered by the CC license, you may use them as long as you comply with the terms of the specific variant of the associated CC. For copyrighted images, the permission of the copyright holder will be required. The PBA has permission to use the images on its own website but cannot grant this right to third parties.

Usage permissions can be confusing, as while some photographers do not allow others to use their images, others are willing to share them as long as they are credited. Licensing information next to the images shows the photographer's preference.

ABP Species

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How do I identify a species?

Last update at 2022/08/16

If you are not sure what the species is that you have observed, there are several ways you can get help finding out.

ABP has a team that can help identify your find. Just email your information (eg, picture) either directly to ABP specialists (see Current Team Members for contacts) or to azoresbioportal@gmail.com

Alternatively, you can also submit your information to Azorean Biodiversity Portal in the Biodivesity4all plataform, which uses community expertise and image recognition to help users identify species. Therefore, you do not need to know the species name to submit an observation.

You could also try one of the numerous published field guides dedicated to fauna & flora of the Azores (see for example ABP Publications).

In addition, the ABP is planning to have on-line species identification keys to help you with the identification of Azorean Biota.

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How I submit a sighting?

Last update at 2022/08/16

Currently, there are two ways to submit sightings to ABP:

  1. To upload your information (eg, image) through to the Azoresbioportal Contribute plataform in BioDiversity4all
  2. You can contribute directly to the ABP, by sending an email toazoresbioportal@gmail.com

You will need the date, location, and the name of the species to upload your sighting. The more information you can provide, the more useful the record of your sighting will be. Nonetheless if you do not have the species name or if you are not sure please see the FAQs section How do I identify a species?

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Why can’t I find a species in ABP I know exists in the Azores?

Last update at 2022/08/16

Though ABP goes to considerable effort to aggregate all the available information about Azorean biota, there are some circumstances in which the ABP may not display information about a species you are interested in. These include:

-the species name may have changed (eg, synonymies);

- the species is not present in any of the sources available to ABP;

- the spelling used may be different from that officially recognised;

- the common name used may not be recognised by the ABP.

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Why when I look for a species in ABP, the search results display a different species?

Last update at 2022/08/16

This can happen when the species name has changed (eg, Synonymy) or if it was re-identified in the Azores as belong to a different species (eg, Erroneous identification). In the species page, you find detailed information on the “Synonymy” section, bellow the distribution map.

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Why do some species’ pages have little data?

Last update at 2022/08/16

ABP relies on others to provide data. As more data is provided, more content will appear on pages. If you have biodiversity data, please share it with the ABP (for more information see FAQs section How I submit a sighting?)

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Why doesn’t the ABP display any pest information?

Last update at 2022/08/16

ABP is a portal dedicated to the biota of the Azores. As such, the initial efforts were to assemble most comprehensive information on autochthonous species of the archipelago. Furthermore, current research data on Azorean biota tends to be focused on native or agriculture species. Nonetheless, efforts are made to have more inclusive information available in ABP, including data from pest or invasive species.

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Why I can’t find any information about my pet species in ABP?

Last update at 2022/08/16

You may not find your pet in ABP, if you search names like “poodle” or “chiwawa”. These are names of dog breeds, not common names of a species/subspecies. If you are looking for information on your pet, please search by their general common name (eg, dog; cat) or by their scientific name (eg, Canis lupus familiaris; Felis catus). Though, efforts are being made to have more information on non-native species, such as domestic animals, you may find little or no information on your pet species in ABP (see also Why doesn’t the ABP display any pest information?). Regardless, if you have any pet or domestic animal that is not in ABP, please submit your information either directly by email to ABP (azoresbioportal@gmail.com) or through our Contribute menu option using the iNaturalist/Biodiversity4All plataform (see also How I submit a sighting?).

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Why are there are so many conservation status classifications?

Last update at 2022/08/16

Species’ conservation status can be based on international (eg, International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN) to regional conventions (eg, T100). The Government of the Azores has legislation protecting flora and fauna and uses its own classification for conservation and protection of biodiversity (for more information see Decreto Legislativo Regional 15/2012/A [Portuguese]). The APB displays available international and regional classifications in the section of “additional information” of the species page.

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Where do I find ABP species lists?

Last update at 2022/08/16

In the ABP it is possible to create species lists based on taxonomic classification, environment, colonization status, conservation status, protection status and distribution in the Archipelago. To create and personalise the species list, please select “Search species” in the top menu “Search & Analyse”. For further information, see User Guides section of ABP FAQs

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Why do I find some double entries on my species list?

Last update at 2022/08/16

When creating species lists in the ABP tool “Search species”, if subspecies are present the respective species will also be listed. This happens, as the ABP tool was constructed primordially to help users find species or subspecies. In other words, to create your final list you will need to remove these extra species.

Additionally, international conventions used by ABP to classify conservation/protection status not always specify which subspecies (eg, recently described subspecies in the Azores). In cases like this, the protection/conservation classifications are under the species name (see also Why are there are so many conservation status classifications?).

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Why there is no colonization status in some species in ABP?

Last update at 2022/08/16

This can happen for one of two reasons:

  • There is not enough information available to know with certainty the species colonization status in the Azores;
  • There is one or more lower taxa associated to that species. If this is case, the colonization status will be associated with the subspecies and/or varieties. For example, Silene uniflora Roth subsp. uniflora is considered native to the Azores, and Silene uniflora cratericola (Franco) Franco is known to occur only in Azores, thus is endemic.

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What are all the names showing on the species page?

Last update at 2022/08/16

The species page contains information about the scientific name of a species, the species status in the Azores and the species non-scientific (common) name(s). In the table “taxonomy” you can also find the species taxonomical classification (eg, name of the species, genus, family, etc), ie, the species position in the taxonomic tree or sometimes called the tree of life.

Last update at 2022/08/16