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The Encyclopedia Of Life Expanding At A Record Pace

January 4, 2012

Increase in content partnerships, growing Spanish-language text, conservation content, and images boost Encyclopedia of Life’s value to scientists and general public

The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL, www.eol.org) continues to expand at a record pace with the addition of new content and partners. At the start of 2012, EOL provides data on nearly half of all described species, with new content in Spanish, rich information about conservation issues from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and NatureServe, and more images and videos than ever before.

In the four years since its first release, EOL has grown from 30,000 pages with content to more than 900,000, a 2,900% increase, and from a dozen content partners to 190, a 1,480% increase. Content highlights since the launch of the new version of EOL in September include:

    More than 900,000 Total Pages with Content
    Over 300,000 Species Pages with Botanical Content from Tropicos®
    Over 100,000 Species Pages with IUCN or NatureServe Conservation Content
    15,000 Species Pages with Spanish Text
    More than 700,000 Images and 9,000 Videos

Spanish language content is an important priority for EOL. In collaboration with El Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio) in Costa Rica, La Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (CONABIO) in Mexico and the Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network (IABIN) in Washington, D.C., EOL now serves information on 15,000 species in Spanish. These leading biodiversity organizations are vital partners in building a truly multi-lingual resource and in helping EOL reach global audiences. A selection of high quality Spanish-language pages can be seen in the EOL Collection”Paginas destacadas de EOL” (“Featured EOL Pages”).

EOL has recently added new conservation-related information from two partners. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a longtime EOL partner, supplies updated information about the Red List status of more than 40,000 species. New partner NatureServe has provided distribution, habitat, trend, and threat information along with New World range maps and conservation status maps for U.S. states and Canadian provinces for more than 60,000 species.

EOL multimedia content is growing at a rapid pace. Images and videos come from individual photographers as well as large organizations, museums, scientists and citizen naturalists. The Encyclopedia of Life Flickr group has close to 3,000 members whose contributions to EOL via this photosharing website recently topped 100,000 photos. Over 9,000 videos complement more than 700,000 images now available on EOL.

In 2012 EOL plans to work on strengthening existing collaborations and building new relationships with contributors around the world. “We are grateful to our partners and for their unwavering commitment to Encyclopedia of Life as we continue to add content, tools and features,” said Dr. Cynthia Parr, Director of the EOL Species Pages Group. “With their ongoing participation, support, and outreach, we look forward to a new year of exciting opportunities. Together we can meet the challenge of providing global access to knowledge about all life on Earth.”

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