(photographer: Denise Knapp)

Welcome to the California Islands Biodiversity Information System

The Channel Islands of California are world-renowned for their scenic beauty and rich natural resources, including a large proportion of plants and animals found nowhere else on earth. The islands off the Pacific coast of the Mexican state of Baja California, immediately to the south, are likewise renowned for their beauty and valued for their remarkable flora and fauna, including many species that they share with the Channel Islands plus others found nowhere else. This archipelago of over twenty islands and islets, the Islands of the Californias, spans two nations and its individual islands are managed by a variety of agencies and organizations with differing missions. Nonetheless, all of these groups seek to protect the islands’ biota, and carry out many of the same land management activities including invasive species detection, eradication and control, rare plant recovery and reintroduction, and habitat restoration. With these different institutions all working to protect unique and valuable island biota from multiple threats, information sharing among island land and water managers and researchers has never been more critical.
We launched the California Islands Biodiversity Information System, or Cal-IBIS, to facilitate archipelago-wide data sharing, with the ultimate goals of protecting the archipelago’s biota and enhancing scientific understanding of it by better informing conservation management and research. This Symbiota Cal-IBIS portal is the first and central node of what will ultimately be a larger information system on multiple platforms. It includes information on the distribution of animals (from birds, to beetles to snails), plants, and other organisms, including macrofungi and lichens. In future nodes of the information system, rare and invasive species’ distributions and management history will tracked, habitat restoration projects will be documented, and more. This Symbiota portal compiles information on biological specimens and observations of island species from multiple sources, providing island stakeholders with a single portal that allows them to track and analyze occurrences, distributions, and changes for plants, animals and other organisms across the entire archipelago. Onward island conservation!
If you have any questions or would like additional permissions for the Cal-IBIS portal, please contact Denise Knapp (dknapp@sbbotanicgarden.org).