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South Australian Museum Herpetology Collection

Over 70,000 specimens have been registered in this collection, which has a particular emphasis on South Australian and arid zone fauna. A second major regional focus is Melanesia, especially the island of New Guinea (Papua New Guinea and Papua Province, Indonesia), with some 6,000 registered specimens. Most material is formalin-fixed and stored in 70% alcohol, with tadpoles stored in formalin. There is a significant dry skeletal collection of over 1,500 specimens, mostly skulls, and this will continue to be expanded. Since 1980, the great majority of specimens acquired (approx. 40,000) have had tissue samples (mostly liver) taken for genetic and biochemical research. These are held in the S.A. Museum's Australian Biological Tissue Collection. All specimens are individually registered and the data entered on a collections management system. All specimens are stored on-site in the S.A. Museum Science Centre alcohol storage facilities.

The SA Museum manages this dataset using the KE EMu collection management system. It is interpreted into the Darwin Core metadata schema (DwC) and semi-regularly exported to the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) and the Online Zoological Collections of Australian Museums (OZCAM).

Data sourced from Australian museums on both the ALA and OZCAM should be identical, but on ALA they are combined with observational data from citizen science initiatives and other sources. Both of those sites make it possible to combine, interrogate and analyse data through web services such as the Spatial Analysis Portal. In the Spatial Portal ALA data can be combined with meteorological and other environmental data sourced from and made accessible by relevant government agencies.

The ALA also has a fully documented API

Data about endangered species are either withheld from online publication, or coordinates or other data are obscured on the ALA and OZCAM. In those circumstances more specific information is available directly from SA Museum collection managers if it is genuinely required for research purposes.

SA Museum data can be downloaded in full from the Atlas of Living Australia, or broken down into discipline specific parts (e.g. Herpetology, Mammalogy etc). On download the ALA will request an email address (not mandatory) and a reason for download (mandatory) – this is required to track usage of the ALA data to help data providers determine priorities for upload and improvement.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Title South Australian Museum Herpetology Collection
Type Dataset
Language English
Licence Creative Commons Attribution
Data Status active
Hosted/Linked Linked
Update Frequency quarterly
Landing Page https://data.sa.gov.au/data/dataset/e0cc2850-5096-44ec-9602-7b5abfaa2094
Date Published March 21, 2013
Page Updated June 30, 2016
Contact Point
South Australian Museum
0431313977
CollectionsData@samuseum.sa.gov.au
Data Granularity Individual specimen records
Temporal Coverage 1880-2014
Geospatial Coverage Primarily whole of Australia, some international records (4.4%)
Jurisdiction Government of South Australia
Data Portal data.sa.gov.au
Publisher/Agency South Australian Museum
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