BISON Database Lets You Stalk Nature From Anywhere

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

There was lichen on some trees near El Malpais National Monument in north west New Mexico on January 14, 1987. No, seriously there was. If you want to double check, the U.S. Geological Survey has released a database called Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation (BISON) that tracks 100 thousand species in the U.S..

The project is part of a larger international effort, called the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, that is working to compile biodiversity data and make it readily available for public use. The goal is to promote citizen science and the development of sustainable practices through easy access to environmental information. With over 110 million entries from hundreds of institutions and organizations, BISON is working to catalog every species in the U.S.

Users can search BISON using the common or scientific names of plants and animals, and can specify exactly what area of the country they want to search by drawing a perimeter around the locations they want to include. The results detail where and when species were identified and include up to 50 ecological notes for context. Now you can use BISON to see if there are any bison in Bison, SD. Or, you know, actually do useful things. [PhysOrg]