MEPS 316:239-246 (2006)  -  doi:10.3354/meps316239

OBIS-SEAMAP: developing a biogeographic research data commons for the ecological studies of marine mammals, seabirds, and sea turtles

P. N. Halpin1,*, A. J. Read2, B. D. Best1, K. D. Hyrenbach2, E. Fujioka1, M. S. Coyne1, L. B. Crowder2, S. A. Freeman2, C. Spoerri1

1Marine Geospatial Ecology Laboratory, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708, USA
2Duke University Marine Laboratory, Beaufort, North Carolina 28516, USA

ABSTRACT: Our ability to understand, conserve, and manage the planet’s marine biodiversity is fundamentally limited by the availability of relevant taxonomic, distribution, and abundance data. The Spatial Ecological Analysis of Marine Megavertebrate Animal Populations (SEAMAP) initiative is a taxon-specific geo-informatics facility of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) network. OBIS-SEAMAP has developed an expanding geo-database of marine mammal, seabird, and sea turtle distribution and abundance data globally. The OBIS-SEAMAP information system is intended to support research into the ecology and management of these important marine megavertebrates and augment public understanding of the ecology of marine megavertebrates by: (1) facilitating studies of impacts on threatened species, (2) tes