OBIS - Spatial Ecological Analysis of Megavertebrate Populations

Project Description
The Spatial Ecological Analysis of Marine Megavertebrate Populations (SEAMAP)
initiative, a node of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS), has
developed a digital database of geo-referenced marine mammal, seabird and sea
turtle distribution and abundance data. SEAMAP seeks to augment the public
understanding of the ecology of marine megavertebrates by: (1) facilitating
study of potential impacts on threatened species; (2) enhancing our ability to
test hypotheses about biogeographic and biodiversity models, and (3) supporting
modeling efforts to predict distributional changes in response to environmental

To enhance the research and educational applications of this database, SEAMAP
provides a broad array of products (e.g., tabular information, maps and
explicit survey meta-data) and services (e.g., web-based query, visualization
and analysis tools). Additionally, because this publicly-available system is
intended for a broad audience of educators, students, resource managers and
researchers, SEAMAP is integrating this digital database with educational
products and analytical tools. The OBIS-SEAMAP system takes advantage of
recent technological advances to facilitate the development of new
community-based data commons for biogeographic and conservation research. To
date the database includes more one-million marine mammal, bird and turtle
observation records from over 180 datasets.