Indian Biodiversity Information System (IBIS), an initiative of Foundation for Ecological Security (FES), is a group of web-based, modular and searchable biodiversity portals, designed to bring together comprehensive information available on Indian flora and fauna in a readily accessible, free and user-friendly format.
Such a pool of data is expected to help experts involved in developing conservation strategies as well as spreading awareness about the conservation of species among the general public. IBIS is modelled on the concept of ‘citizen science’ – aspiring to facilitate the participation of amateurs in the gathering of data and building a free resource on Indian biodiversity. It foresees the involvement of various groups of stakeholders ranging from amateur naturalists to wildlife enthusiasts, to serious researchers, ecologists, wildlife scientists and photographers in this pioneering venture.
- IBIS brings together detailed information on birds, mammalia, and flowering plants of the Indian region. Work on collating information about reptiles and amphibians is in progress.
- IBIS offers simple user-friendly online search and retrieval.
- Features to search data are as per user requirement. The IBIS portal allows users to have an access to external links to other dedicated databases and publications, as well as a bibliography with 5,00,000+ citations on Indian birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and plants.
- IBIS collates information from the past alongside inputs from ongoing research, giving readers historical as well as contemporary perspective.
- Nomenclature in older literature is arranged in line with the latest, thus quickening the task of referencing. This also minimises the confusion that arises due to frequently changing taxonomy and nomenclature systems in biodiversity literature.
- IBIS has scientific data like taxonomic modules, excerpts from old and new literature, and database on museum collections.
- It includes general species profiles, which are public participatory but peer reviewed, and a list of copyright-free books on natural history.
- The portal utilises open-source software. IBIS is licensed under the ‘Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Licence’, giving users an opportunity to choose a licensing policy for their contribution towards the portal.
- Social Networks functionalities assist in creating web-based conservation communities and exchange of information and knowledge.