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The Belgian Coccinellidae dataset which is published, is the result of a merge of 4 datasets. The INBO (Research Institute for Nature and Forest; Flemish Region Database), the DFF database (The Walloon Region Database), Observations.be data provided by Natagora (The Walloon Region and Brussels Capital Region) and the Walloon Region Online Encoding Tool (DEMNA - OFFH, observatoire.biodiversite.wallonie.be/encodage) data. At present, the database contains about 80.000 records, of which 15% come from museum collections and literature data. Collection events minimally consist of species, number of individuals, stage (adults, larvae and pupae), observation date, observer and location. Original locations as well as collection material were attributed to 1x1 km or 5x5 km grid cells of the UTM grid (Universal Transverse Mercator). A large part of the Belgian territory has been surveyed for ladybird beetles: the database contains records for at least 85% of all 5x5km UTM grid cells (N = 1376) in Belgium. Additionally, data on substratum plants, height in the vegetation, sampling method, habitat type, surrounding landscape, slope orientation, soil type, humidity, vegetation cover and behaviour were noted. In 1999, the Belgian Ladybird Working Group Coccinula launched a large scale field survey on 40 native ladybird species (Coccinellinae, Chilocorinae and Epilachninae) and to date has more than 500 volunteers providing distribution data. They actively search for ladybird beetles in a variety of habitats using sweep nets, beating trays, visual search, light trapping, pitfall traps and other sampling methods. Distribution, habitat and substrate plant information is also noted on a standard recording form. The working group maintains a database of observations, literature and collection data of Coccinellidae from 1800 onwards. Preliminary atlases have been published for the whole Belgian territory (Branquart et al., 1999; Adriaens and Maes, 2004) and updated distribution maps are available online, on demand and through the working group's newsletter. The published dataset contains most of the data maintained by the working group. For the time being, only the original INBO database is published.
The Saltabel dataset deals with grasshopper and cricket occurrences in Belgium. The data are largely gathered by volunteer naturalists, who also reviewed and digitised data from existing museum and university collections in Belgium. Input in a database, feedback to observers, validation and database maintenance were cared for by a professional employee at the Institute for Nature Conservation (IN). The Saltabel (Salta < Saltatoria; bel > Belgium) working group was established in 1989. The purpose of this project was mainly to collect information about the distribution, faunistics and ecology of grasshoppers and crickets in Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg. The working group produced a newsletter which appeared irregularly in the period 1989-2002 with the intention to inform observers about latest findings, interesting observations, ecological research etc., provide feedback to naturalists and to raise awareness about the conservation value of Orthoptera in general. During this periode, the working group was most active and organised annual weekends, in turn organized in Belgium, the Netherlands and sometimes also northern France . These weekends were intended to perform inventories for badly prospected regions and to stimulate knowledge exchange between collaborators. In 1997, a standard work on the grasshoppers and crickets of The Netherlands was published using data from this project (Kleukers et al. 1997). In 2000, a provisional atlas and red lists of grasshoppers and crickets in Flanders , Brussels and Wallonia was published (Decleer et al. 2000), providing the first major output of this faunistic project for Belgium. As a consequence, the interest for grasshoppers and crickets in conservation increased, as these insects became important indicators of natural quality and successful nature management. After this milestone, the working group lost some incentive, the network of volunteers was no longer professionally supported and Saltabel became less active. In 2006, a dedicated survey was organised in Brussels Capital Region through the SaltaBru project, greatly increasing the number of records for this region. More recently, Saltabel became a study group of the Flemish NGO Natuurpunt and the working group revived with numerous activities and a growing number of recorders involved (http://www.saltabel.org). Since 2011, the online encoding platform http://www.waarnemingen.be is promoted and used for online reporting of records. Since 2012, the focus of the working group was put on enhancing the knowledge of threatened species in Flanders, with dedicated surveys prospecting historically known locations of e.g. Stenobothrus stigmaticus, Stenobothrus lineatus and Ephippiger ephippiger. The database described here, however, does not contain these recent records. The Netherlands are currently also working on a new atlas through waarneming.nl (http://www.waarneming.nl/sprinkhaanatlas_start.php). To allow anyone to use this dataset, we have released the data to the public domain under a Creative Commons Zero waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/). We would appreciate however, if you read and follow these norms for data use (http://www.inbo.be/en/norms-for-data-use) and provide a link to the original dataset (https://doi.org/10.15468/1rcpsq) whenever possible. If you use these data for a scientific paper, please cite the dataset following the applicable citation norms and/or consider us for co-authorship. We are always interested to know how you have used or visualized the data, or to provide more information, so please contact us via the contact information provided in the metadata, firstname.lastname@example.org or https://twitter.com/LifeWatchINBO.