8 Sep 2010

The Global Procellariiform Tracking Database

By Nick Askew

Created in 2004, the Global Procellariiform Tracking Database (GPTD) held at Birdlife International is the largest single database of Procellariiform tracking data in existence. The database contains around 500 datasets with nearly 5 million records for 38 species, covering most of the world’s oceans.

Data is owned by the scientists and institutes who collected them, and is submitted subject to terms and conditions of data access.

The aim of the database is to provide a complete Procellariiform tracking dataset that can be used to identify marine conservation prioritisation areas such as marine IBAs, to be used in fishery overlap analysis for the FAO Regional Fisheries Management Organisations, and to provide a central repository from which people with tracking data needs can request and gain access to the data.

Recently the database has gone through a phase of development which has, amongst other things, included its progress onto a web based platform.

The intention of these developments have been to streamline the procedure of data submission so that submitted data may be rapidly processed and returned to the data owner (thereby providing a service to the tracking community and increasing submissions), to improve data owners access to their own data (so that they may see, edit and monitor requests within the database) and to improve the profile of the database by hosting the website publicly on the internet and allowing coverage and metadata to be visible to all.

Poster abstract by Phil Taylor (BirdLife International). Image credit: Ben Lascelles