How did it die?
'How did it die?' is a placeholder name for the Task Group until the name is agreed.
- Sophia Ratcliffe, NBN Trust, UK
- Quentin Groom, Meise Botanic Garden, Belgium
- Janeen Jones, The Field Museum, Chicago, United States
- Libby Ellwood, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, United States
There is a requirement that species records express whether the organism was dead or alive at the time of the observation or collection, and what the cause of any death was. Currently no such explicit terms exist in Darwin Core.
The addition of such terms will improve the interoperability of datasets relating to, but not limited to, the monitoring and reporting of:
- Biodiversity Action Plans/mortality of endangered species;
- marine animal strandings;
- hunting and culling activities;
- disease control;
- communicating the origins (causes of death) of collected specimens;
- contemporary and deep time mortality events;
- quantifying by-catch in invasive species control programs; and
- identifying optimal specimens for genetic research.
Goals, outputs, and outcomes
- to propose a new Darwin Core term, including a controlled vocabulary, to express whether the organism was dead or alive (or dormant?) at the time of the observation or collection;
- to propose a new Darwin Core term, including a controlled vocabulary, to detail the cause of death;
- to develop use cases to support the addition of each term and the vocabulary for cause of death; and
- provide datasets where the terms and vocabularies have been implemented.
The scope of the terms, their names and vocabularies will be discussed within the Task Group and also cross Task Groups with other disciplines.
- Agree Task Group name
- The scope of the terms will be agreed before proposing names and developing controlled vocabularies.
- The outputs will be produced by the convener and core members in consultation with any other interested parties.
- Information on the group’s deliverables will be maintained on GitHub.
- Meetings will be conducted online, with communication via email.
- The Task Group will submit its proposals to TDWG’s journal BISS and follow the TDWG Vocabulary Maintenance Standard for any final proposals to be adopted.
21-25 September 2020 (How did it die? Working session, TDWG 2020 virtual conference)
- Agree Task Group name
- Agree scope and proposed names for the terms.
- Decide whether to make separate proposals for the two terms, which might be more efficient as cause of death is the more complex of the two concepts.
- Agree proposed controlled vocabulary for the term to express whether the organism was dead or alive at the time of the observation or collection.
- Finalise use cases for the term to express whether the organism was dead or alive at the time of the observation or collection.
- Agree proposed controlled vocabulary and finalise use cases for the term for cause of death.
- Provide datasets where the terms and vocabularies have been implemented.
- Submit proposals to TDWG’s journal BISS.
This Task Group welcomes anyone who has a practical interest in recording and reporting biodiversity occurrence or collection records. The group may need support for the development of machine-readable vocabularies.
The breadth of disciplines that will benefit from the inclusion of the terms was apparent by the range of interest at the Unconference session ‘How did it die?’, Biodiversity_Next, Leiden, October 2019.
As a pilot the NBN Atlas (https://nbnatlas.org/) started using the term vitality in October 2019 and now (June 2020) has over 1.6 million records with the attribute. There is no default value; the value (alive or dead) is as supplied by the data provider.
The vitality of the organism at the time of the observation or collection is an important attribute of a species record, which currently cannot be expressed in a machine-readable manner. This group has been convened to propose the addition of terms, and associated controlled vocabularies, to Darwin Core to enable the interoperability of datasets that hold information on the vitality of the organism and any cause of death.
- Bíl, M., Heigl, F., Janoška, Z., Vercayie, D., Perkins, S. E. (2020). Benefits and challenges of collaborating with volunteers: Examples from National Wildlife Roadkill Reporting Systems in Europe. Journal for Nature Conservation, 54 (125798).
- Schwartz, A. L.,W., Shilling, F. M. & Perkins, S. E. (2020). The value of monitoring wildlife roadkill. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 66(18).
- Wright, P. G. R., Coomber, F. G., Bellamy, C. C., Perkins, S. E., Mathews, F. (2020). Predicting hedgehog mortality risks on British roads using habitat suitability modelling. PeerJ, 7:e8154.
- Schwartz, A. L.,W., Williams, H. F., Chadwick, E., Thomas, R. J., & Perkins, S. E. (2018). Roadkill scavenging behaviour in an urban environment. Journal of Urban Ecology, 4(1).
- Madden, J. R., & Perkins, S. E. (2017). Why did the pheasant cross the road? Long-term road mortality patterns in relation to management changes. Royal Society Open Science, 4(10), 170617.
- Consortium, ENETwild, Vicente, Joaquín, Plhal, Radim, Blanco‐Aguiar, Jose A, Sange, Marie, Podgórski, Tomasz, Petrovic, Karolina, Scandura, Massimo, Nabeiro, Anna Cohen, Body, Guillaume, Keuling, Oliver, Apollonio, Marco, Ferroglio, Ezio, Zanet, Stefania, Brivio, Francesca, Smith, Graham C, Croft, Simon, Acevedo, Pelayo, Soriguer, Ramon ( 2018). Analysis of hunting statistics collection frameworks for wild boar across Europe and proposals for improving the harmonisation of data collection. EFSA supporting publication 2018: 15( 2):EN‐1523. 33 pp. doi: 10.2903/sp.efsa.2018.EN‐1523
- Vercayie, D., & Herremans, M. (2015). Citizen science and smartphones take roadkill monitoring to the next level. Nature Conservation, 11, 29.
- Périquet, S., Roxburgh, L., le Roux, A., & Collinson, W. J. (2018). Testing the value of citizen science for roadkill studies: a case study from South Africa. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 6, 15.
- Yue, S., Bonebrake, T. C., & Gibson, L. (2019). Informing snake roadkill mitigation strategies in Taiwan using citizen science. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 83(1), 80-88.
- Lawson, B., Petrovan, S. O., & Cunningham, A. A. (2015). Citizen science and wildlife disease surveillance. EcoHealth, 12(4), 693-702.
- The initial request for a new term: https://github.com/tdwg/dwc/issues/228 and https://github.com/tdwg/dwc-qa/issues/142
Examples of datasets that use the term vitality:
- UK Roadkill records: https://registry.nbnatlas.org/public/show/dr1628
- National Dormouse Database: https://registry.nbnatlas.org/public/show/dr829
- Big Hedgehog Map records: https://registry.nbnatlas.org/public/show/dr864
- Seasearch Marine Records in England: https://registry.nbnatlas.org/public/show/dr690
- Wild boar SASA sightings record: https://registry.nbnatlas.org/public/show/dr538