We aim to create an information system for the biological diversity of Peru, which will be a reference for ecological, systematic studies and conservation policies in the country. SIBPERU will store and organize data of the biodiversity of Peru, such as species ranges, distribution maps, taxonomy, conservation status, hosts associations and genetic data (DNA sequences). For this, we will upload information from worldwide biodiversity information systems like GBIF, and we will digitize museum specimens from major biological collections in Peru. We will also digitize information that has been published on peruvian species in national and international scientific journals. Our system will produce automated reports showing the species richness of areas of interest, such as potential areas for conservation, threatened by mining and oil exploitation and agriculture. By producing maps of distribution, our system will allow to asses adequate size of potential areas for private and governmental conservation. Our maps will allow to identify unprotected areas that still include rare or threatened species in need of conservation.

The information generated by SIBPERU will help assess the distribution of target species, being able to pinpoint areas of high diversity, identify species with narrow distributional ranges, endemism, etc. By having readily available information, it will be possible to create programs to preserve and protect Peru's biodiversity. Traditionally, conservation plans have looked at data for species individually, SIBPERU intends to use data from species of animals and plants simultaneously, in order to propose locations for new protected areas that will preserve the maximum number of species. This analysis will provide a road map for making conservation decisions in Peru, a country considered one of the biodiversity hotspots in the world.

Our motivation

Peru is a megadiverse country that harbors half the world's biodiversity of some taxonomic groups. However, its biodiversity is being lost due to human activities. The number of species inhabiting Peru is uncertain and it is not known the number of new species that are in need of taxonomic description. Thus, for conservation purposes, it is crucial to possess a database that contains records of known species, including collection data, photographs and biological information. SIBPERU will be Peru's first digital reference collection, and will provide information of Peru´s natural heritage (genes, species, and ecosystems).

How it works

SIBPERU has been developed with "open source" software, such as Django, PostgreSQL, and Python. SIBPERU will be a dynamic and interactive web application that will be able to process inquiries from users and generate information of the species by the automatic construction of HTML pages. All information will be stored in a "relational database" which will be the PostgreSQL software. This database will be indexed using elasticsearch so that users can do quick and efficient searches. The bridge between user and data will be provided by a "Graphical User Interface". The platform on Django, Python, and PostgreSQL will be stored on the servers at CEBIO, as well as in virtual servers in the cloud of commercial providers such as DigitalOcean and Joyent. The images will be stored on CEBIO and Amazon servers.
The following information will be included for each species: Taxonomy - order, family, genus, and species. The information for specimens from biological collections will include: collection data -specific location, geographical coordinates, altitude, collection date, collection method, collector and sample code; biological data - sex, images, habitat, microhabitat, relationship with other organisms, etc. We will have a specific page for each species where will include all the information mentioned above as well as distribution maps generated automatically using Google Maps. SIBPERU will have tools enabled to provide the information for humans as well for computers. For this, we will include “web-services” consisting in providing the information in XML format using the “Darwin Core” format for biological data. Thus, major databases such GBIF, EOL or Tree of Life will be able to automatically harvest our data.


Carlos Peña, Carol Castillo, Frank Azorsa

Collaborate with us

If you have images, distribution data from any taxonomic group, or if you want to collaborate, please contact us to: info@cebioperu.org