Four barriers to the global understanding of biodiversity conservation: wealth, language, geographical location and security.

Amano, T. and Sutherland, W.J. (2013) Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Science 280: 20122649.

In this paper we found that the availability of data stored in biodiversity databases is highly geographically biased (see figure below), and the proportion of English speakers in each country partly explains the distribution, with a fewer records per area stored for countries where English is not widely spoken. This indicates that language barriers could impede scientific activities and communications at the international level. This finding served as a basis for our endeavour to further investigate consequences of language barriers in science.

View full publication here.

The number of records per square kilometre in four conservation/ecological databases: (a) the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, (b) the Global Population Dynamics Database, (c) MoveBank and (d) the European Union for Bird Ringing Databank.