Calbug: Database Using Arthropods to Examine the Impact of Climate Change and Habitat Modification

Project Timeline: 8/1/2010-7/31/2015

Habitat modification and climate change are occurring at unprecedented rates globally. California has played a lead role in establishing the science and policy necessary to understand and mitigate the impacts of such a change. However, one element that has been conspicuously absent from this research is the use of arthropods as fine-scale indicators of response to habitat modification. This Sequoia Foundation project set out to develop a database of geo-referenced specimens collected at local localities over the last century, representing collaboration among eight entomological collections. SF staff targeted a diverse set of major groups of California terrestrial arthropods that provided approximately 1.5 million records of geo-referenced specimen level arthropod biodiversity data. The specimen data would be used in geospatial technology and analysis to understand the relationship between the distribution of species, and the precise nature and extent of habitat modification. This effort would result in a fully geo-referenced database of target taxa from natural reserves throughout California would be searchable and freely available on web-accessible maps for graduate and undergraduate students, research community, land managers, and the general public.