Why an eFlora?
Conventional printed flora resources will be replaced by a contemporary electronic guide, or eFlora, that will provide comprehensive, up-to-date information to a wide audience. This integrated taxonomic and descriptive resource on native and naturalised plants for Western Australia (WA) will deliver greater efficiency and more certainty in species identification.
Authoritative guides to the plants of a region are traditionally printed as books. However, these guides (termed Floras) quickly become outdated as new species are described, taxonomic revisions are produced and distributions are revised. The flow-on effect is that as knowledge grows, several resources containing the latest identification keys, taxonomic revisions, distribution maps and images are required to accurately identify a plant species. Updated Floras are also slow and expensive to reproduce.
ONE CONVENIENT, ELECTRONIC RESOURCE
An electronic resource offers greater certainty and accuracy of flora information that underpins environmental impact assessments, with built-in keys and tools to identify species in a reserve, bioregion or other area. It offers:
- Greater certainty: fast and accurate species identification means greater certainty in environmental impact assessments.
- Vast, comprehensive and flexible information delivery: search, filter and package species in different formats for different audiences.
- Easy access and maintenance: website access with future mobile applications. Quick to update as knowledge grows.
The eFlora will cover native and naturalised plants recorded for the region.
The production of an eflora for WA will be a staged process. Given the continuing survey effort in relation to resource developments in the Pilbara, this region will be first to be targeted.
With close to 2,000 named species of vascular plants known in the Pilbara, the availability of a comprehensive and contemporary electronic resource to identify plant species will be a valuable tool particularly for use in surveys required for assessments of environmental impact.
- Users would be able to identify species with speed and certainty, resulting in the timely provision of information for environmental impact assessments. This will help improve the efficiency of decisions regarding land and resource developments.
- The ability to efficiently and accurately identify species collected during botanical surveys will improve the understanding of their distribution and conservation status. Such knowledge is critical to the formulation of management advice and implementation of strategies that promote sustainable land use and biodiversity conservation across the Pilbara.
- Effective land rehabilitation, such as that required post-mining, is also reliant on the ability to accurately identify plant species occurring in the local area. Biosecurity programs also require the ability to rapidly identify introduced species.
WABSI and the Western Australian Herbarium (Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions).
WANT TO GET INVOLVED?
We invite you to participate in a collaborative WABSI project.