Vanuatu National Herbarium: New "Flora of Vanuatu"

Database and Website

The Vanuatu National Herbarium, a unit of the Department of Forestry, is pleased to announce the establishment of a new Flora of Vanuatu database and website. This replaces an older database, based on the PlantNote application. Data from PlantNote had been used to populate the Vanuaflora website, but had become outdated and largely defunct, with no new uploads since 2015. The Flora of Vanuatu site combines database and website into a single function, using the Symbiota platform. The URL is Plant data is available to the public through this website (but sensitive data, such as locations of rare species, are hidden), and through website logins, herbarium staff can access the collection from any computer with Internet access.

The Plants mo Pipol project (a collaboration of DoF and the New York Botanical Garden) coordinated the transfer of specimen data. Greg Plunkett from NYBG worked closely with Dr. Dominik Ramík, a teacher and IT specialist from Lowanatom, Tanna, in an effort that took over one month, and included a week of training with DoF Senior Officer Presley Dovo and four associates from the Herbarium, Frazer Alo, James Ure, Stephanie Sali, and Elisha Tekak. Funding for the initiative was provided by the NYBG projects. Over 17,000 herbarium records were migrated, along with 1,000 photos of plants (all with specimen records). The new platform will allow another 3,500 specimens collected by Plants mo Pipol to be batch-uploaded, along with the tens of thousands of photos from the field. It is also facilitating the organization, sorting, and filing of a large backlog of specimens that had been accumulating during the period when the old database was not fully functioning.

Through Symbiota, the Flora of Vanuatu database will also allow for linkages to the collections at NYBG, in which all the 3,500 specimens are being imaged, in addition to many other historical collections from Vanuatu housed in NY. Through the Consortium of Pacific Herbaria, as well as other Pacific herbaria through the. The Plants mo Pipol project also arranged for a week-long training of herbarium staff to use the new database, and they are now actively adding new data to it for the first time in several years.

The following screen-shots show the new websites Homepage (left), a specimen output page (center), and a photo page (right)

Link to website (URL):