GABiP: an overview
The diversity of life ('biodiversity') is one of the most extraordinary expressions of the creative power of nature. The hundreds of millions of years devoted by evolution to shape a truly overwhelming diversity of species is currently being driven to accelerated declines, and often to complete extinctions, by the impact of human activities on the planet's environments. The world we live in is the result of the interactions between nature and human-driven processes, and therefore, the development of a quantitative and global-scale understanding of the factors that shaped biodiversity in the past, and those which are currently being altered to become threats to biodiversity has become one of the paramount responsibilities of the human species.
The world's amphibians have gained a central role in these areas of scientific, social and environmental debate given that their alarming extinctions have consolidated them as perhaps the most iconic case of biodiversity declines linked to human effects on the environment. Therefore, the living diversity of amphibians holds one of the golden keys to advance our understanding of the processes underlying the evolution, distribution, extinctions and conservation of life on Earth. GABiP embodies a scientific response to the needs to understand our environmental processes, their unique and replicated distributions over the world, and the future of these phenomena. Finally, GABiP complements the GARD Project, a global scale scientific and collaborative initiative responsible for the development of the world's largest and most comprehensive dataset on the ecology, evolution and distribution of living reptiles.
We aim to provide global-scale scientific explorations to identify the factors underlying the diversity and distribution of the world's amphibians as a model system to advance our understanding of the dynamics of life on Earth across space and time.
GABiP has been developed to progressively build the world's largest open-access database covering most aspecs of the biology of living amphibian species. This platform is aimed to (i) consolidate as a source of robust information to contribute to the development of global scientific research in evolution, ecology and conservation, (ii) exploit the value of this information to provide scientific advice to organisations dealing with environmental issues around the world, and to (iii) generate an open-access environment to promote dissemination of knowledge at all levels - this is where resources such as our GABiP blog aim to play a central role in communicating with those sharing our interests.