Tobago is an autonomous island within the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. It is located 35 kilometres northeast of the mainland of Trinidad and southeast of Grenada, about 160 kilometres off the coast of northeast Venezuela. According to the earliest English-language source cited in the Oxford English Dictionary, Tobago bore a name that has become the English word tobacco; the official bird of Tobago is the cocrico. Christopher Columbus first sighted Tobago on the 14th of August, 1498. Subsequently, several powers fought over possession of the island; the original Island Carib population had to defend the island against other Amerindian tribes. During the late 1500s and early 1600s, the natives defended it from European colonists, including 1654, including an attempt by the Courlanders, who colonised the island intermittently between 1637-1690. Over the ensuing years, the Curonians, English, French and Swedish had caused Tobago to become a focal point in repeated attempts of colonisation, which led to the island having changed hands 33 times, the most in Caribbean history, before the Treaty of Paris ceded it to the British in 1814.
In 1662, the Dutch brothers Adrian and Cornelius Lampsins were granted the title of Barons of Tobago, ruled until the English captured the island in 1666. Adrian recaptured Tobago in 1673, but was killed in battle when the English, under Sir Tobias Bridge yet again took control of the island. From about 1672, during the temporary British rule of 1672-1674, Tobago had a period of stability during which plantation culture began. Sugar and indigo factories sprang up and Africans were imported by the British to work as slaves; the economy flourished. France had abandoned the island to Britain in 1763, by 1777 Tobago was exporting great quantities of cotton, indigo and sugar, but in 1781, the French re-invaded Tobago, destroyed the plantations, forced the British governor to surrender. The island's buoyant economy fell into decline. In 1814, when the island again came under British control, another phase of successful sugar-production began, but a severe hurricane in 1847, combined with the collapse of plantation underwriters, end of slavery in 1834 and the competition from sugar with other European countries, marked the end of the sugar trade.
In 1889 the island became a ward of Trinidad. Without sugar, the islanders had to grow other crops, planting acres of limes and cocoa and exporting their produce to Trinidad. In 1963 Hurricane Flora ravaged Tobago, destroying the crops. A restructuring programme followed and attempts were made to diversify the economy; the development of a tourist industry began. Trinidad and Tobago obtained its independence from the British Empire in 1962 and became a republic in 1976, just as Trinidad; the population was 60,874 at the 2011 census. The capital, has a population of 17,537. While Trinidad is multiethnic, Tobago's population is of African descent, although with a growing proportion of Trinidadians of East Indian descent and Europeans. Between 2000 and 2011, the population of Tobago grew by 12.55 percent, making it one of the fastest-growing areas of Trinidad and Tobago. Local Government and Central Government functions in Tobago are handled by the Tobago House of Assembly; the current Chief Secretary of the THA is Kelvin Charles.
The People's National Movement controls 10 of the 12 seats in the Assembly, with the Progressive Democratic Patriots led by union leader Watson Duke controlling two seats since the 23 January 2017 election. Tobago has two parliamentary seats, Tobago East and Tobago West, which are controlled by the People's National Movement, which won them in the general elections of Trinidad and Tobago on 7 September 2015; the island was most featured in the international press in early 2007, for its establishment of a Minister of Mental Health. Minister Ellen Tang was appointed on the first anniversary of the launch of the Happiness Project, her aide, Melody Williams, has been allocated a major proportion of the annual housing funding to revamp government housing projects all over the island. Tobago is divided into seven parishes – three in the Western Region and four in the Eastern Region: Tobago has a land area of 300 km² and is 40 kilometres long and 10 kilometres wide, it is located at latitude 11° 15' N, longitude 60° 40' W north of Trinidad.
Tobago is hilly, mountainous and of volcanic origin. The southwest of the island is flat and consists of coralline limestone; the hilly spine of the island is called the Main Ridge. The highest point in Tobago is the 550-metre Pigeon Peak near Speyside; the climate is tropical, the island lies just south of the Atlantic hurricane belt, making it vulnerable to occasional southward-travelling tropical storms. Average rainfall varies between 3,800 mm on the Main Ridge to less than 1,250 mm in the southwest. There are two seasons: a wet season between June and December, a dry season between January and May. Due to its close proximity to the hurricane belt, the island was struck by Hurricane Flora on September 30, 1963; the effects were so severe. The hurricane laid waste to the banana and cacao plantations that sustained the economy, wreaked considerable damage on the pristine tropical rainforest that makes up a large proportion of the interior of the island's northern half. Many of the plantations were subsequently abandoned, the economy changed direction away from cash crop agriculture and toward tourism.
In 2004 Hurricane Ivan, while less severe than Flora caused significant damage. The Tobago Forest Reserve is
A bird colony is a large congregation of individuals of one or more species of bird that nest or roost in proximity at a particular location. Many kinds of birds are known to congregate in groups of varying size. Colonial nesting birds include seabirds such as albatrosses. A group of birds congregating for rest is called a communal roost. Evidence of colonial nesting has been found in non-neornithine birds, in sediments from the Late Cretaceous of Romania. 13% of all bird species nest colonially. Nesting colonies are common among seabirds on cliffs and islands. Nearly 95% of seabirds are colonial, leading to the usage, seabird colony, sometimes called a rookery. Many species of terns nest in colonies on the ground. Herons, egrets and other large waterfowl nest communally in what are called heronries. Colony nesting may be an evolutionary response to a shortage of safe nesting sites and abundance or unpredictable food sources which are far away from the nest sites. Colony-nesting birds show synchrony in their breeding, meaning that chicks all hatch at once, with the implication that any predator coming along at that time would find more prey items than it could eat.
What constitutes a colony is a matter of definition. Tufted puffins, for example, are pelagic birds that nest on the steep slopes and rocky crevices on coastal cliffs on islands; each pair excavates its own burrow. A congregation of puffin burrows on a marine island is considered a colony. Sand martins are if observed to nest in solitude. A more extreme example of colonial nesting is found in the weaverbird family; the sociable weaver of southern Africa constructs massive, multi-family dwellings of twigs and dry grasses, with many entrances leading to different nesting chambers, accommodating as many as a hundred nesting pairs. These structures resemble haystacks hanging from trees, have been likened to apartment buildings or beehives; some seabird colonies host thousands of nesting pairs of various species. Triangle Island, for example, the largest seabird colony in British Columbia, Canada, is home to auks, cormorants and other birds, as well as some marine mammals. Many seabirds show remarkable site fidelity, returning to the same burrow, nest or site for many years, they will defend that site from rivals with great vigour.
This increases breeding success, provides a place for returning mates to reunite, reduces the costs of prospecting for a new site. Young adults breeding for the first time return to their natal colony, nest close to where they hatched. Individual nesting sites at seabird colonies can be spaced, as in an albatross colony, or densely packed like an auk colony. In most seabird colonies several different species will nest on the same colony exhibiting some niche separation. Seabirds can nest in trees, on the ground, on cliffs, in burrows under the ground and in rocky crevices. Colony size is a major aspect of the social environment of colonial birds; some birds are known to nest in colonies when conditions are suitable, but not always. The white-winged dove of southwestern North America was known to nest in large colonies when foraging areas could support such numbers. In 1978, in Tamaulipas, researchers counted 22 breeding colonies of white-winged doves with a collective population size of more than eight million birds.
But as habitat was transformed through urbanization or agriculture, the doves spread out into smaller, less long-lived colonies. Today, these doves are observed to nest colonially in both urban and rural areas; the term colony has been applied misleadingly, to smaller nesting groups, such as forest-dwelling species that nest in a suitable stand of trees. The red-cockaded woodpecker, an endangered species of southeastern North America, is a social species that feeds and roosts in family groups, or clans. Clans nest and roost in clusters of tree cavities and use a cooperative breeding system. Many parrot species are extremely social. For example, the thick-billed parrot is another bird that roosts communally. However, these complex social structures in birds are a different sort of group behavior than what is considered colonial; the habit of nesting in groups is believed to provide better survival against predators in several ways. Many colonies are situated in locations that are free of predators.
In other cases, the presence of many birds means. Synchronized breeding leads to such an abundance of offspring as to satiate predators. For seabirds, colonies on islands have an obvious advantage over mainland colonies when it comes to protection from terrestrial predators. Other situations can be found where bird colonies avoid predation. A study of yellow-rumped caciques in Peru found that the birds, which build enclosed, pouch-like nests in colonies of up to one hundred active nests, situate themselves near wasp nests, which provide some protection from tree-dwelling predators such as monkeys; when other birds came to rob the nests, the caciques would cooperatively defend the colony by mobbing the invader. Mobbing a group effort, is well-known behavior, not limited to col
Carl Linnaeus known after his ennoblement as Carl von Linné, was a Swedish botanist and zoologist who formalised binomial nomenclature, the modern system of naming organisms. He is known as the "father of modern taxonomy". Many of his writings were in Latin, his name is rendered in Latin as Carolus Linnæus. Linnaeus was born in the countryside of Småland in southern Sweden, he received most of his higher education at Uppsala University and began giving lectures in botany there in 1730. He lived abroad between 1735 and 1738, where he studied and published the first edition of his Systema Naturae in the Netherlands, he returned to Sweden where he became professor of medicine and botany at Uppsala. In the 1740s, he was sent on several journeys through Sweden to find and classify plants and animals. In the 1750s and 1760s, he continued to collect and classify animals and minerals, while publishing several volumes, he was one of the most acclaimed scientists in Europe at the time of his death. Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau sent him the message: "Tell him I know no greater man on earth."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote: "With the exception of Shakespeare and Spinoza, I know no one among the no longer living who has influenced me more strongly." Swedish author August Strindberg wrote: "Linnaeus was in reality a poet who happened to become a naturalist." Linnaeus has been called Princeps botanicorum and "The Pliny of the North". He is considered as one of the founders of modern ecology. In botany and zoology, the abbreviation L. is used to indicate Linnaeus as the authority for a species' name. In older publications, the abbreviation "Linn." is found. Linnaeus's remains comprise the type specimen for the species Homo sapiens following the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, since the sole specimen that he is known to have examined was himself. Linnaeus was born in the village of Råshult in Småland, Sweden, on 23 May 1707, he was the first child of Christina Brodersonia. His siblings were Anna Maria Linnæa, Sofia Juliana Linnæa, Samuel Linnæus, Emerentia Linnæa, his father taught him Latin as a small child.
One of a long line of peasants and priests, Nils was an amateur botanist, a Lutheran minister, the curate of the small village of Stenbrohult in Småland. Christina was the daughter of the rector of Samuel Brodersonius. A year after Linnaeus's birth, his grandfather Samuel Brodersonius died, his father Nils became the rector of Stenbrohult; the family moved into the rectory from the curate's house. In his early years, Linnaeus seemed to have a liking for plants, flowers in particular. Whenever he was upset, he was given a flower, which calmed him. Nils spent much time in his garden and showed flowers to Linnaeus and told him their names. Soon Linnaeus was given his own patch of earth. Carl's father was the first in his ancestry to adopt a permanent surname. Before that, ancestors had used the patronymic naming system of Scandinavian countries: his father was named Ingemarsson after his father Ingemar Bengtsson; when Nils was admitted to the University of Lund, he had to take on a family name. He adopted the Latinate name Linnæus after a giant linden tree, lind in Swedish, that grew on the family homestead.
This name was spelled with the æ ligature. When Carl was born, he was named Carl Linnæus, with his father's family name; the son always spelled it with the æ ligature, both in handwritten documents and in publications. Carl's patronymic would have been Nilsson, as in Carl Nilsson Linnæus. Linnaeus's father began teaching him basic Latin and geography at an early age; when Linnaeus was seven, Nils decided to hire a tutor for him. The parents picked a son of a local yeoman. Linnaeus did not like him, writing in his autobiography that Telander "was better calculated to extinguish a child's talents than develop them". Two years after his tutoring had begun, he was sent to the Lower Grammar School at Växjö in 1717. Linnaeus studied going to the countryside to look for plants, he reached the last year of the Lower School when he was fifteen, taught by the headmaster, Daniel Lannerus, interested in botany. Lannerus gave him the run of his garden, he introduced him to Johan Rothman, the state doctor of Småland and a teacher at Katedralskolan in Växjö.
A botanist, Rothman broadened Linnaeus's interest in botany and helped him develop an interest in medicine. By the age of 17, Linnaeus had become well acquainted with the existing botanical literature, he remarks in his journal that he "read day and night, knowing like the back of my hand, Arvidh Månsson's Rydaholm Book of Herbs, Tillandz's Flora Åboensis, Palmberg's Serta Florea Suecana, Bromelii Chloros Gothica and Rudbeckii Hortus Upsaliensis...."Linnaeus entered the Växjö Katedralskola in 1724, where he studied Greek, Hebrew and mathematics, a curriculum designed for boys preparing for the priesthood. In the last year at the gymnasium, Linnaeus's father visited to ask the professors how his son's studies were progressing. Rothman believed otherwise; the doctor offered to have Linnaeus live with his family in Växjö and to teach him physiology and botany. Nils accepted this offer. Rothman showed Linnaeus that botany was a serious sub
The snowy egret is a small white heron. The genus name comes from the Provençal French for the little egret aigrette, a diminutive of aigron, "heron"; the species name thula is the Araucano for the Black-necked Swan, applied to this species in error by Chilean naturalist Juan Ignacio Molina in 1782. The snowy egret is the American counterpart to the similar Old World little egret, which has established a foothold in the Bahamas. At one time, the beautiful plumes of the snowy egret were in great demand by market hunters as decorations for women's hats; this reduced the population of the species to dangerously low levels. Now protected in the United States by law, under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, this bird's population has rebounded. Adult Snowy Egrets are all white with a black bill, black legs, yellow feet, they have a patch of yellow skin at the base of the bill. Immature Snowy Egrets have duller, greenish legs. Snowy egrets nest in colonies on thick vegetation in isolated places, such as barrier islands, dredge-spoil islands, salt marsh islands and marshes.
Their clutch size is between two to six eggs. They change location from year to year. During the breeding season, snowy egrets feed in estuaries, tidal channels, shallow bays, mangroves, they winter in mangroves, saltwater lagoons, freshwater swamps, grassy ponds, temporary pools, forage on beaches, shallow reefs, wet fields. The snowy egret eats aquatic animals, including fish, worms and insects, it uses its bright yellow feet to paddle in the water or probe in the mud, rounding up prey before striking with its bill. Snowy egrets feed while standing, running, or hopping, they may vibrate their bills, sway their heads, or flick their wings as part of prey gathering, they forage while hovering. Snowy egrets forage in saltmarsh pools, tidal channels, tidal flats, freshwater marshes, ocean inlets, lake edges preferring brackish or marine habitats with shallow water. Other foraging water birds assemble around them to form mixed-species foraging groups. Snowy egrets are permanent residents in most of Central America.
In the United States, they are permanent residents along the Atlantic coast north to Virginia Beach, along the Gulf Coast, along the Pacific lowlands from central California southward. During the breeding season, snowy egrets wander north along the Atlantic flyway between the lower Chesapeake Bay and coastal Rhode Island, up the Pacific Coast to northern California. Snowy egrets breed in the lower Mississippi Valley westward into eastern Texas. Birds banded in United States have been recovered as far away as Trinidad. Snowy egret has occurred as a vagrant in Europe in Iceland and the Azores; the birds eat fish, insects, small reptiles, frogs, worms and crayfish. They stalk prey in shallow water running or shuffling their feet, flushing prey into view, as well "dip-fishing" by flying with their feet just over the water. Snowy egrets may stand still and wait to ambush prey, or hunt for insects stirred up by domestic animals in open fields. Stiles and Skutch, A guide to the birds of Costa Rica ISBN 0-8014-9600-4 National Geographic, Field Guide to the Birds of North America ISBN 0-7922-6877-6 Snowy Egret – Cornell Lab of Ornithology Snowy egret Egretta thula - USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter "Snowy egret media".
Internet Bird Collection. Snowy egret photo gallery at VIREO Snowy egret species account at Neotropical Birds
Canada–United States border
The Canada–United States border known as the International Boundary, is the longest international border in the world between two countries. It is shared between Canada and the United States, the second- and fourth/third largest countries by area, respectively; the terrestrial boundary is 8,891 kilometres long, of which 2,475 kilometres is Canada's border with Alaska. Eight Canadian provinces and territories, thirteen U. S. states are located along the border. The Treaty of Paris of 1783 ended the American Revolutionary War between Great Britain and the United States. In the second article of the Treaty the parties agreed on all of the boundaries of the United States, including but not limited to the boundary with British North America to the north; the agreed boundary included the line from the northwest angle of Nova Scotia to the northwesternmost head of Connecticut River, proceeded down along the middle of the river to the 45th parallel of north latitude. That parallel had been established in the 1760s as the boundary between the provinces of Quebec and New York.
It was surveyed and marked by John Collins and Thomas Valentine from 1771 to 1773. The Saint Lawrence River and the Great Lakes became the boundary further west. Northwest of Lake Superior, the boundary followed rivers to the Lake of the Woods. From the Lake of the Woods, the boundary was agreed to go straight west until it met the Mississippi River. In fact that line never meets the river; the Jay Treaty of 1794 created the International Boundary Commission, charged with surveying and mapping the boundary. It provided for removal of British military and administration from Detroit and other frontier outposts on the U. S. side. It was superseded by the Treaty of Ghent concluding the War of 1812, which included pre-war boundaries; the Rush–Bagot Treaty of 1817 provided a plan for demilitarizing the two combatant sides in the War of 1812 and laid out preliminary principles for drawing a border between British North America and the United States. Westward expansion of both British North America and the United States saw the boundary extended west along the 49th parallel from the Northwest Angle at Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains under the Treaty of 1818.
That treaty extinguished British claims south of that latitude to the Red River Valley, part of Rupert's Land. The treaty extinguished U. S. claims to land north of that line in the watershed of the Missouri River, part of the Louisiana Purchase. Along the 49th parallel, the border vista is theoretically straight but in practice follows the 19th-century surveyed border markers and varies by several hundred feet in spots. Disputes over the interpretation of the border treaties and mistakes in surveying required additional negotiations resulting in the Webster–Ashburton Treaty of 1842; the treaty resolved the dispute known as the Aroostook War over the boundary between Maine on the one hand, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada on the other. The treaty redefined the border between New Hampshire and New York on the one hand, the Province of Canada on the other, resolving the Indian Stream dispute and the Fort Blunder dilemma at the outlet to Lake Champlain; the part of the 45th parallel that separates Quebec from the U.
S. states of Vermont and New York had first been surveyed from 1771 to 1773 after it had been declared the boundary between New York and Quebec, it was surveyed again after the War of 1812. The U. S. federal government began to construct fortifications just south of the border at Rouses Point, New York, on Lake Champlain. After a significant portion of the construction was completed, measurements revealed that at that point, the actual 45th parallel was three-quarters of a mile south of the surveyed line; this created a dilemma for the United States, not resolved until a provision of the treaty left the border on the meandering line as surveyed. The border along the Boundary Waters in present-day Ontario and Minnesota between Lake Superior and the Northwest Angle was redefined. An 1844 boundary dispute during U. S. President James K. Polk's administration led to a call for the northern boundary of the U. S. west of the Rockies to be latitude 54° 40' north, but the United Kingdom wanted a border that followed the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean.
The dispute was resolved in the Oregon Treaty of 1846, which established the 49th parallel as the boundary through the Rockies. The Northwest Boundary Survey laid out the land boundary, but the water boundary was not settled for some time. After the Pig War in 1859, arbitration in 1872 established the border between the Gulf Islands and the San Juan Islands; the International Boundary Survey, called the Northern Boundary Survey in the United States, began in 1872. Its mandate was to estab
A chordate is an animal constituting the phylum Chordata. During some period of their life cycle, chordates possess a notochord, a dorsal nerve cord, pharyngeal slits, an endostyle, a post-anal tail: these five anatomical features define this phylum. Chordates are bilaterally symmetric; the Chordata and Ambulacraria together form the superphylum Deuterostomia. Chordates are divided into three subphyla: Vertebrata. There are extinct taxa such as the Vetulicolia. Hemichordata has been presented as a fourth chordate subphylum, but now is treated as a separate phylum: hemichordates and Echinodermata form the Ambulacraria, the sister phylum of the Chordates. Of the more than 65,000 living species of chordates, about half are bony fish that are members of the superclass Osteichthyes. Chordate fossils have been found from as early as the Cambrian explosion, 541 million years ago. Cladistically, vertebrates - chordates with the notochord replaced by a vertebral column during development - are considered to be a subgroup of the clade Craniata, which consists of chordates with a skull.
The Craniata and Tunicata compose the clade Olfactores. Chordates form a phylum of animals that are defined by having at some stage in their lives all of the following anatomical features: A notochord, a stiff rod of cartilage that extends along the inside of the body. Among the vertebrate sub-group of chordates the notochord develops into the spine, in wholly aquatic species this helps the animal to swim by flexing its tail. A dorsal neural tube. In fish and other vertebrates, this develops into the spinal cord, the main communications trunk of the nervous system. Pharyngeal slits; the pharynx is the part of the throat behind the mouth. In fish, the slits are modified to form gills, but in some other chordates they are part of a filter-feeding system that extracts particles of food from the water in which the animals live. Post-anal tail. A muscular tail that extends backwards behind the anus. An endostyle; this is a groove in the ventral wall of the pharynx. In filter-feeding species it produces mucus to gather food particles, which helps in transporting food to the esophagus.
It stores iodine, may be a precursor of the vertebrate thyroid gland. There are soft constraints that separate chordates from certain other biological lineages, but are not part of the formal definition: All chordates are deuterostomes; this means. All chordates are based on a bilateral body plan. All chordates are coelomates, have a fluid filled body cavity called a coelom with a complete lining called peritoneum derived from mesoderm; the following schema is from the third edition of Vertebrate Palaeontology. The invertebrate chordate classes are from Fishes of the World. While it is structured so as to reflect evolutionary relationships, it retains the traditional ranks used in Linnaean taxonomy. Phylum Chordata †Vetulicolia? Subphylum Cephalochordata – Class Leptocardii Clade Olfactores Subphylum Tunicata – Class Ascidiacea Class Thaliacea Class Appendicularia Class Sorberacea Subphylum Vertebrata Infraphylum incertae sedis Cyclostomata Superclass'Agnatha' paraphyletic Class Myxini Class Petromyzontida or Hyperoartia Class †Conodonta Class †Myllokunmingiida Class †Pteraspidomorphi Class †Thelodonti Class †Anaspida Class †Cephalaspidomorphi Infraphylum Gnathostomata Class †Placodermi Class Chondrichthyes Class †Acanthodii Superclass Osteichthyes Class Actinopterygii Class Sarcopterygii Superclass Tetrapoda Class Amphibia Class Sauropsida Class Synapsida Craniates, one of the three subdivisions of chordates, all have distinct skulls.
They include the hagfish. Michael J. Benton commented that "craniates are characterized by their heads, just as chordates, or all deuterostomes, are by their tails". Most craniates are vertebrates; these consist of a series of bony or cartilaginous cylindrical vertebrae with neural arches that protect the spinal cord, with projections that link the vertebrae. However hagfish have incomplete braincases and no vertebrae, are therefore not regarded as vertebrates, but as members of the craniates, the group from which vertebrates are thought to have evolved; however the cladistic exclusion of hagfish from the vertebrates is controversial, as they ma
ARKive was a global initiative with the mission of "promoting the conservation of the world's threatened species, through the power of wildlife imagery", which it did by locating and gathering films and audio recordings of the world's species into a centralised digital archive. Its priority was the completion of audio-visual profiles for the c. 17,000 species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The project was an initiative of a UK-registered educational charity, based in Bristol; the technical platform was created by Hewlett-Packard, as part of the HP Labs' Digital Media Systems research programme. ARKive had the backing of leading conservation organisations, including BirdLife International, Conservation International, International Union for Conservation of Nature, the United Nations' World Conservation Monitoring Centre, the World Wide Fund for Nature, as well as leading academic and research institutions, such as the Natural History Museum, it was a member of the Institutional Council of the Encyclopedia of Life.
Two ARKive layers for Google Earth, featuring endangered species and species in the Gulf of Mexico were produced by Google Earth Outreach. The first of these was launched in April 2008 by Sir David Attenborough; the website closed on 15 February 2019. The project formally was launched on 20 May 2003 by its patron, the UK-based natural history presenter, Sir David Attenborough, a long-standing colleague and friend of its chief instigator, the late Christopher Parsons, a former Head of the BBC Natural History Unit. Parsons never lived to see the fruition of the project, succumbing to cancer in November 2002 at the age of 70. Parsons identified a need to provide a centralised safe haven for wildlife films and photographs after discovering that many such records are held in scattered, non-indexed, collections with little or no public access, sometimes in conditions that could lead to loss or damage, he believed the records could be a powerful force in building environmental awareness by bringing scientific names to life.
He saw their preservation as an important educational resource and conservation tool, not least because extinction rates and habitat destruction could mean that images and sounds might be the only legacy of some species’ existence. His vision of a permanent, refuge for audio-visual wildlife material won immediate support from many of the world’s major broadcasters, including the BBC, international state broadcasting corporations and National Geographic magazine; the initial feasibility study for creating ARKive was carried out in the late 1980s by conservationist John Burton, but at the time the costs of the technology needed were too far too high, so it was over a decade after the technology had caught up with Christopher Parson's vision, that the project was able to get off the ground. After capital development funds of £2m were secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 1997 and New Opportunities Fund in 2000, work on building ARKive began as part of the UK's Millennium celebrations, using advanced computerised storage and retrieval technology devised for the project by Hewlett-Packard, with an initial capacity of up to 74 terabytes of data, using redundant hardware and multiple copies of media stored at multiple sites.
Media was digitised to the highest available quality without compression and encoded to open standards. A prototype site was online as early as April 1999. There were several design iterations before the formal launch. By the launch date, the project team had researched, copied and authenticated image and fact files of 1,000 animals and fungi, many of them critically endangered. More multi-media profiles are added every month, starting with British flora and fauna and with species included on the Red List – that is, species that are believed to be closest to extinction, according to research by the World Conservation Union. By January 2006, the database had grown to 2,000 species, 15,000 still images and more than 50 hours of video. By 2010, over 5,500 donors had contributed photos of more than 12,000 species. In February 2019, Wildscreen announced that they "...have had to make the hard decision to close the Arkive website on 15 February 2019", due to funding issues. On that date the website was replaced with a short statement, concluding: The complete Arkive collection of over 100,000 images and videos is now being stored securely offline for future generations.
The site was Sunday Times website of the year for 2005. It was a 2010 Webby Award honoree for its outstanding calibre of work, in the'Education' category, a 2010 Association of Educational Publishers'Distinguished Achievement Award' winner, in the category for websites for 9-12 year olds. Catalogue of Life Encyclopedia of Life List of online encyclopedias Nature documentary Official ARKive site Technical specifications from Hewlett-Packard Memorandum of Understanding with Encyclopedia of Life