Abstract

The global effort to digitize biodiversity occurrence data from collections, museums and other institutions has stimulated the development of important tools to improve the knowledge and conservation of biodiversity. The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) enables and opens access to biodiversity data of 321 million of records, from 379 host institutions. Neotropical bats are a highly diverse and specialized group, and the geographic information about them is increasing since few years ago, but there are a few reports about this topic. The aim of this study was to analyze the number of digital records in GBIF of Neotropical bats with distribution in 21 American countries, evaluating their nomenclatural and geographical consistence at scale of country. Moreover, we evaluated the gaps of information on 1° latitude x 1° longitude grids cells. There were over 1/2 million records, but 58% of them have no latitude and longitude data; and 52% full fit nomenclatural and geographic evaluation. We estimated that there are no records in 54% of the analyzed area; the principal gaps are in biodiversity hotspots like the Colombian and Brazilian Amazonia and Southern Venezuela. In conclusion, our study suggests that available data on GBIF have nomenclatural and geographic biases. GBIF data represent partially the bat species richness and the main gaps in information are in South America.
Keywords: records, database, species number, richness, bats, Latin America