Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (FBIS)

Demand-driven, high impact, expansion of the Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (FBIS) for freshwater decision-making in South Africa

About
Access to reliable data, packaged in a user-friendly information system, facilitates decision-making. Better data = better decisions. Prior to FBIS Phase 1 (Developing a freshwater biodiversity information system for evaluating long-term change in rivers in the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa), no reliable information system existed for accessing freshwater biodiversity data to gauge long-term changes in freshwater ecosystems, and for guiding future long-term monitoring strategies and management decisions. FBIS Phase 1 developed a powerful, visual, data-rich information system for South African rivers (https://freshwaterbiodiversity.org/) using open source software. The system design was strongly informed by the data and reporting needs of the end-users who now consider it the best system available for serving South African freshwater biodiversity data. Priority datasets identified by end-users informed the biodiversity data included in FBIS Phase 1 (fish, invertebrates and algae in South African rivers).

While a major step forward in South Africa’s freshwater monitoring and management, further consultation with key data-users and national decision-makers identified a further need for (1) access to a greater range of freshwater data (particularly anuran data (given the high levels of endemicity and threat within this group), thermal data (critical for climate change monitoring) and wetland biodiversity data), (2) a mobile application to increase FBIS data access and flow and (3) strategically hard-wiring FBIS into national freshwater decision-making tools (thereby exponentially adding to the future impact of the platform). In addition to achieving these objectives, FBIS Phase 2 will also (4) expand the geographic coverage of training and data users/providers (which will elevate data flow and platform buy-in), (5) further advance and implement our evolving platform sustainability plan and (6) track the progress of the project and impact of the platform in a set of key performance areas. All functionality will be developed iteratively with regular engagement with stakeholders and our steering committee from the start. There will be a strong focus on establishing interoperability with key national freshwater biodiversity management and conservation decision-making pipelines and frameworks, which will grow the user community, increase stakeholder buy-in and support platform sustainability.

Finally, the FBIS team is collaborating with other developing biodiversity platforms (e.g. AWARD, Odonata Map, Rwanda Freshwater Information System (RBIS)), cultivating mutually beneficial technical and data synergies between all projects.

Status
Current

Outputs

Peer-review articles
Kajee M, Dallas HF, Griffiths CL, Kleynhans CJ and Shelton JM. 2023. The Status of South Africa’s Freshwater Fish Fauna: A Spatial Analysis of Diversity, Threat, Invasion, and Protection. Fishes 8 (12): 571. https://doi.org/10.3390/fishes8120571

Dallas HF, Shelton JM, Sutton T, Tri Ciputra D, Kajee M and Job N. 2022. The Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (FBIS) – mobilising data for evaluating long-term change in South African rivers, African Journal of Aquatic Science 47(3): 291-306, DOI: 10.2989/16085914.2021.1982672 

Desai M, Hanzen C, Downs CT, O’Brien GC. 2021. Environmental drivers of ichthyofauna community composition of the river ecosystems draining the Lake St. Lucia basin, South Africa. Hydrobiologia 848: 3539–3554 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-021-04609-7 

Hanzen CC, Lucas MC, Weyl OLF, Marr SM, O’Brien G and Downs CT. 2022. Slippery customers for conservation: Distribution and decline of anguillid eels in South Africa. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 32: 1277– 1290. https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.3823

Kajee M, Dallas HF, Swanepoel A, Griffiths CL, and Shelton JM. 2023. The Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (FBIS) Fish Data: A Georeferenced Dataset of Freshwater Fishes Occurring in South Africa. Journal of Limnology 82 (s1). https://doi.org/10.4081/jlimnol.2023.2133 

Kajee M, Henry DAW, Dallas HF, Griffiths CL, Pegg J, Ven der Coll D, Impson D, Chakona A, Raimondo DC, Job NM, Paxton BR, Jordaan MS, Bills R, Roux F, Zengeya TA, Hoffman A, Rivers-Moore N, Shelton JM. 2023. How the Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (FBIS) is supporting national freshwater fish conservation decisions in South Africa. Frontiers in Environmental Science. Vol 11, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fenvs.2023.1122223

Khosa D, South J, Matam NY, Mofu L, Wasserman RJ and Weyl OLF. 2023. The past and current distribution of native and non-native fish in the Kowie River catchment, Makhanda, Eastern Cape. Knowl. Manag. Aquat. Ecosyst., 424. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1051/kmae/2022026

King J and Palmer C. 2022. Perspectives on Protecting African freshwater Ecosystems in the Anthropocene. African Journal of Aquatic Science. 47(3): iii-vi. 

Popular articles
FBIS – helping to collate quality data for the preservation of SA’s freshwater biodiversity (The Water Wheel March/April 2024)

Government products
Department of Forestry Fisheries and Environment (DFFE) National Environmental Screening Tool Aquatic Biodiversity Sensitivity Layers. 2023. 

Shelton J, Jordaan M, Dallas H, van der Colff D, Kajee M, Impson D, Henry D, Khosa D, Raimondo D, Job N, Chakona A. 2023. The Department of Forestry Fisheries and Environment (DFFE) Environmental Assessment Protocols: Freshwater fish fauna. 

Science and policy briefs
GEO BON and FWBON, 2022. Inland Waters in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Available from https://geobon.org/science-briefs

Reports, books and book chapters
Day JA and BR Davies. 2022. Vanishing Waters (3rd ed.) Water research Commission Special Report SR 160/22, Water Research Commission, Pretoria, South Africa. 

Fry C. 2021. A field guide to freshwater macroinvertebrates of southern Africa. Jacana Press. South Africa. 

Machingura J, Coetzee J, Dallas H, Day B, Day J, Hay D, Skelton P, Thirion C and Uys M. 2021. The evolution of ecosystem research – from biodiversity to biossessments. Chapter 7 In: WRC@50: Celebrating a half century of excellence (Eds. Day JA, Day B and Reizenberg J). Water Research Commission Report no. SP 148/21, Water Research Commission, Pretoria, South Africa. 

Turak E, Van Deventer H, Pienaar M, Walters M, Dallas H, etc. In prep. Collection and management of biological records must support protection and restoration goals for freshwater species and ecosystems. 

Technical and consultancy reports
Note: Numerous consultants use the data from FBIS is their reports. Not all correctly cite the FBIS yet.  

Belcher T. 2022. Aquatic Biodiversity Impact Assessment: Farm 1441, Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch in the Western Cape.

CapeNature 2022. Field Report 4/2022. Jonkershoek Nature Reserve Eerste River winter monitoring report. Unpublished internal report. Field report. CapeNature 2022. Field Report 10/2022. Jonkershoek Nature Reserve Eerste River autumn monitoring report. Unpublished internal report. Field report. 

CapeNature 2023. Field Report 2/2023. Kogelberg Nature Reserve annual SASS monitoring report. Unpublished internal report. Field report. 

CapeNature, 30/03/2022, Field Report: River survey of the Outeniqua Nature Reserve Complex, Unpublished internal report, Biodiversity Capabilities: Technical Report. 

City of Cape Town. In prep. Hout Bay River – State of the Rivers report. Scientific Services. City of Cape Town. 

Erasmus P. 2022. Basic Assessment Report For The Proposed Prospecting Activities On Various Farms, In The Magisterial District Of Blouberg And Mogalakwena, Limpopo Province For Sylvania Northern Mining (Pty) Ltd For the following Minerals: Chrome Ore, Cobalt, Copper Ore, Gold Ore, Nickel Ore, Platinum Group Metals Located on the Farms: Altona 696 LR, Gillemberg 861 LR, Non Plus Ultra 683 LR, Teneriffe 682 LR, Aurora 397 LR and Nonnenwerth 421 LR, in the Magisterial Districts of there Blouberg and Mogalakwena, Limpopo Province DMRE Reference Number: LP30/5/1/1/2/14710PR. Prescali Environmental Consultants (Pty) Ltd. Pretoria 

Erasmus P. 2022. Basic Assessment Report For The Proposed Prospecting Activities On Various Farms, In The Magisterial District Of Blouberg And Mogalakwena, Limpopo Province For Sylvania Northern Mining (Pty) Ltd For the following Minerals: Chrome Ore, Cobalt, Copper Ore, Gold Ore, Nickel Ore, Platinum Group Metals Located on the Farm: Portion 2 of the Farm Schaffhausen 689 LR, in the Magisterial District of Blouberg, Limpopo Province DMRE Reference Number: LP30/5/1/1/2/14728PR. Prescali Environmental Consultants (Pty) Ltd. Pretoria 

Erasmus P. 2022. Desktop Surface Water Assessment Report for Maditse Investments – situated on the Farms Tabana 133 LR, Boekenhoutfontein 108 LR and Prairie 107 LR within the Waterberg District in the Limpopo Province. Prescali Environmental Consultants (Pty) Ltd. Pretoria. 

Erasmus P. 2022. Desktop Surface Water Assessment Report for Regison Mining (Pty) Ltd – situated on the Farms Greater Giyani 891 LT and Mariyeta 246 LT within the Mopani District in the Limpopo Province. Prescali Environmental Consultants (Pty) Ltd. Pretoria. 

Erasmus P. 2022. Surface Water Assessment Report for Mofenyi Mining – Modjadji situated on Modjadji No. 1 934-LT within the Mopanie District in the Limpopo Province. Prescali Environmental Consultants (Pty) Ltd. Pretoria. 

Erasmus P. 2023. Desktop Surface Water Assessment Report for Kegakilwe Trading (Pty) Ltd – situated on Portion 0 of the Farm Mooikloof 150 and Portion 5 of the Farm Oatlands 151 within the Waterberg District in the Limpopo Province. Prescali Environmental Consultants (Pty) Ltd. Pretoria. 

Quale L. 2020. State of Strategic Water Source Areas Monitoring and Reporting Framework, and Information Platform – Southern Drakensberg Pilot. Institute for Natural Resources, South Africa. 

Rivers-Moore NA and Kajee M. 2020. Pilot study on the use of the Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (FBIS) as a tool to extract data for climate change impacts on aquatic species distribution models. Freshwater Research Centre, Cape Town, South Africa. 

Theses
Kajee. M. In prep. Trajectories of change is South Africa’s freshwater fish fauna. PhD Thesis. University of Cape Town. 

Conference presentations and talks
Dallas HF. 2019. User driven information system design – more carrot less stick. JRS Biodiversity Symposium, Nairobi, Kenya. 

Dallas HF. 2022. Biodiversity data at your fingertips: the Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (FBIS). Keynote Address at the Biodiversity Information Conference. November 2022. 

Dallas HF. 2023. Biodiversity data at your fingertips: the Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (FBIS). Keynote Address at the Southern African Society for Southern Africa Conference, Cape Town, 2023.

Dallas HF and Rivers-Moore NA. 2019. Environmental water temperature guidelines for perennial rivers: A protocol and tools for setting water temperature targets in South Africa. Southern African Society for Southern Africa Conference, Limpopo July 2019. 

Dallas HF and Shelton JM. 2017. Building freshwater information systems to last: A freshwater biodiversity information system for evaluating long‐term change in rivers in the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. JRS Biodiversity Symposium, Johannesburg, South Africa. 

Dallas HF, Shelton J, Olsen T, Sutton T and Ciputra D. 2019. Developing a freshwater biodiversity information system for evaluating long-term change in South African rivers. Southern African Society for Southern Africa Conference, Limpopo July 2019. 

Dallas HF, Shelton J, Sutton T, Tri Cuptura D, Kajee M, Job N. 2021. The Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (FBIS) – a user-driven information system for mobilising, visualising and reporting biodiversity data in South Africa. Southern African Society for Southern Africa Conference, Virtual conference November 2021. 

Dallas HF, Shelton J, Sutton T, Tri Cuptura D, Kajee M, Job N. 2021. Biodiversity data at your fingertips: the Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (FBIS). National Wetlands Indaba Virtual Conference 2021.

Kajee M, Dallas HF, Shelton JM and Griffiths CL. 2019. Consolidating data on the status, distribution and abundance of South African freshwater fishes, invertebrates and algae for incorporating into a Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (FBIS) and assessing long-term change. South African National Biodiversity Institute Biodiversity Planning Forum, 4–7 June, Northern Drakensburg. 

Kajee M, Dallas HF, Shelton JM and Griffiths CL. 2019. The status of South African freshwater fishes: A prelude to predicting the impacts of climate change on selected South African freshwater fish. Department of Biological Sciences Careers and Research Day, 21 November, Cape Town. 

Kajee M, Dallas HF, Shelton JM and Griffiths CL. 2019. The status of South African freshwater fishes: A prelude to predicting the impacts of climate change on selected South African freshwater fish. 12th SAEON Graduate Student Network Indibano, 1–6 September, Cape St Francis (Best student presentation). 

Kajee M, Dallas HF, Shelton JM and Griffiths CL. 2019. The status, distribution and abundance of South African freshwater fishes: A prelude to predicting the impacts of climate change on selected South African freshwater fish. 39th Zoological Society of Southern Africa (ZSSA) Congress, 7–10 July, Skukuza, Kruger National Park. 

Kajee M, Dallas HF, Shelton JM and Griffiths CL. 2020. The status of South African freshwater fishes: A prelude to predicting the impacts of climate change on selected South African freshwater fish. W12 Congress: 1st International Meeting of Cities Tackling Water Challenges, 27-28 November, Cape Town. 

Kajee M, Dallas HF, Shelton JM and Griffiths CL. 2021. South African fish data in FBIS: A success story. National Wetlands Indaba Virtual Conference 2021. (Best student presentation). 

Kajee, M., Dallas, H.F., Shelton JM and Griffiths CL. 2022. South African National Biodiversity Institute 4th Annual Student Research Day, 29-30 March, Cape Town.

Shelton J and Dallas HF. 2021. Mobilising freshwater biodiversity data for South African rivers – successes, challenges, data providers, future expansion Southern African Society for Southern Africa Conference, Virtual conference November 2021. 

Shelton J and Dallas HF. 2021. Mobilising freshwater biodiversity data for South African rivers – successes, challenges, data providers, future expansion. National Wetlands Indaba Virtual Conference 2021.

Shelton J and Dallas HF. 2022. How the Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (FBIS) is supporting freshwater fish conservation in South Africa. Biodiversity Information Conference. November 2022.

Shelton J and Dallas HF. 2023. The Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (FBIS): 

Unlocking data for improved freshwater decision-making in South Africa. City of Cape Town, Athlone Sewage works. August 2023.

Shelton J, Dallas HF, Kajee M. The Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (FBIS): 

Unlocking data for improved freshwater decision-making in South Africa. Berg River Improvement Programme. Jonkershoek. June 2023.

Snaddon KS, Ollis D, Job N. 2021. Harnessing wetland biodiversity data: the Freshwater Biodiversity Information System. National Wetlands Indaba Virtual Conference 2021.

Snaddon KS, Ollis D, Job N, Awuah A, Dallas HF, Shelton J. 2023.  Dust off the datasets: repurposing wetland data on the Freshwater Biodiversity Information System. National Wetlands Indaba Conference 2023.

Online Resources

Collaborators​

Funders​

Project Leader
Helen Dallas

EFT Account Details

Account Name:               Freshwater Research Centre NPC 
Bank:                                 Nedbank Limited
Account No:                     102 680 5341    
Branch Code:                   104 309
Swift Code:                       NEDSZAJJ

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