The Research and Survey Section has established and compiled a national database entitled Biodiversity in Jordan. This database includes around 425 bird species, 96 reptilian and amphibian species and nearly 80 mammal species, in addition to 2380 plant species recorded in the country, with detailed descriptions of each species, such as its taxonomy, habitat, as well as the date and location where it was recorded.
The main objective of this project is to collect existing information on the national status of the species in Jordan and have it easily accessible in one place. It is also continuously updated, with geographic coordinates and dates where individuals of rare species were observed by members of RSCN’s field research team. The National Waterbird Census (Link to NWC page) is the main source for updating information on waterbirds in Jordan.
Most of the data for each species is collected through desktop research. Books, reports, and national and international publications are used to establish the base data. The CITES checklists and the IUCN Red Data Book are used to identify the global status of each species. A special data sheet is filled in to enable quick data entry into the database. For fauna, all of Jordan’s mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians are included, while for flora the database covers the flowering plants. Invertebrates and marine wildlife may be added in the future.
The database basically consists of a page for each species that is composed of a number of “index cards” covering a range of information. The index cards differ slightly between flora and fauna, but much of the information is the same. The following list describes the content of each of the index cards that is completed for each species:
Identification. The taxonomic description of a species to the sub species level, as well as its common name both in English and Arabic.
Description. The main characteristics of the species, including the general shape, color, and the body measurements.
Scientific Synonyms. This is only included on a separate index card for flora, because it is included elsewhere for fauna.
Life History Traits. For fauna, this includes the breeding season, number of offspring, and gestation or incubation period. For flora, this lists the details on flowering time, fruit formation, pollination, and whether it is annual, biennial, or perennial.
Trophic Relations. For fauna only. Categorizes the trophic level and lists the food sources and predators of the species.
Behavior. For flora only. Describes the behavioral traits of the species, including whether it is solitary or lives in groups, its feeding behavior, its mating behavior, and so on.
Habit/Uses/Origin. For flora only. The species is identified as a tree, shrub, grass, etc; its uses are listed, such as medicinal, fuel, ornamental, etc; it is identified as either indigenous or introduced.
Habitat. Description of the habitat that the species lives in and the bioclimatic sub-region where it is found in Jordan.
Vegetation types. The vegetation types where the species is found in Jordan.
Findings. For flora only. The global range and zoogeographical range of the species are listed.
Zoogeographic Origin. For fauna only. Species are identified as originating in the Palaearctic.
Geographical Distribution. For fauna only. The distribution of the species is described for both the Jordan and the global range.
CITES. The status of a species according to the lists of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Similar species and the scientific synonyms are also identified here to prevent confusion between species.
IUCN Red Data Book. The species according to the classification of the IUCN Red Data Book.
Hunting Information. For fauna only. If hunting of the species is permitted in Jordan, it indicates the dates, locations, and catches permitted.
International Treaties/ Conventions. It lists international agreements to which Jordan is a signatory which protect the species.
National Conventions. It lists the national conventions in Jordan which protect the species.
References. It lists the references used to provide the data.
Species Killed. For fauna only. It lists the dates, locations, and number of individuals that have been reported or observed killed.
Species Observed. For fauna only. It lists the dates, locations, and number of individuals that have been observed by the RSS.
Picture. A diagram, photograph, or range map of the species can be inserted here.
The Biodiversity in Jordan database was designed to be user-friendly, for all types of users. Data can be shared in a flexible yet controlled way, and it can be easily updated and linked to other applications.
In 2008, an agreement was signed between the RSCN and the Ministry of Environment by which the RSCN had a fund to develop the Biodiversity in Jordan database, in order to be available to researchers, students, and the whole Jordanian society, through the internet.
The database is also in the process of linking to a Geographic Information System (GIS) in order to map the location of wildlife sightings as they are added.
The Biodiversity in Jordan database was launched under the patronage of his Excellency with minister of environment; Engineer Khaled Irani on June,3rd 2009.
The Biodiversity in Jordan database can be browsed through this link:http://jordanbiodiversity.rscn.org.jo