Utheria

Location

Much of the measurement data in YouTHERIA is indexed by the spatial Location where the data were collected (i.e. where the animals lived). Setting the Location is the first step in entering any new data.

YouTHERIA presents miners with three options to choose from Locatio
ns already entered into the database. If the Location does not appear in the lists a new one must be added using the 'Add Spatial Data' tab.














Locations are indexed by Site. Sites are areas with defined boundaries, such as a National Park or a small political unit. Locations are somewhat variable in extent, from a few hectares to many square kilometers. Some sites contain many Locations, but most contain only one. Sites have no associated data except for Country and Continent.

For Marine mammals, enter the country as 'Marine', enter the name of the water body in Site name (e.g. 'North Atlantic') and something more specific in Location (e.g. 'waters off the Faroe Islands').

Note that a large proportion of literature are not reported with Location information (e.g. in compilations). In these cases, simply click the 'unknown location' button to proceed. Also common is the case where only a country name is reported (e.g. 'Angola'). In these instances, assign the data to a Site and Location named 'unknown Site in Angola' and 'unknown Location in Angola' respectively. Where simply the name of the protected area is reported (e.g. 'Serengeti NP') then the appropriate Location name depends on whether the database contains other (more specific) Locations exist within the protected area in question. If so then the appropriate name would be 'Serengetic NP, unspecified Location'.


Spatial coordinates
Latitude and Longitude are the key attributes for Location, although they may not be known at the time of data entry.

The coordinates should be entered in decimal degrees: use positive values for Latitudes north of the equator and
Longitudes east of Greenwich. Spatial coordinates given in degrees, minutes, seconds can be converted easily into deimal degrees with online converters (e.g. from fcc or Directions magazine).

Two fields are available for each Latitude and Longitude. If a range of coordinates are presented enter minimum and maximum values in the appropriate boxes. If only a point value is presented, enter this as both minimum and maximum. Use the notes field to indicate whether point localities are entered with precision or merely assumed.


Many sources provide a map but no coordinates (or imprecise coordinates). In these cases enter whatever information that appears in the Source and indicate that a map is present, and later seek the coordinates from online gazetteers such as Falling Rain, Fuzzy Gazetteer, the World Database of Protected Areas and Google Earth.


Associated data
Locations need not be spatially explicit in order to be separate from one another. For example, a study might report home range estimates for populations of animals in adjacent habitats. If the habitats are sufficiently different (e.g. woodland vs grassland) then they consitute different Locations, even if they take the same (estimated) spatial coordinates. Accordingly, there are several associated data fields that distinguish Locations from one another:

Altitude
Altitude
should be entered as the number of meters above sea level (i.e. the number without units). Use the minimum and maximum to indicate a range of altitudes, otherwise enter the same number in both boxes.

Habitat
There are two habitat variables 'habitat description' and 'biome category'. Biome is selected from a drop down menu but 'habitat description' should be brief phrase summarising the habitat as described in the source.

Human influence
Two semi-quantitative fields, 'human influence' and 'human exploitation' are used to index the intensity of habitat modification and wildlife exploitation (e.g. bushmeat hunting) respectively. There is also a text box to provide more information on the nature of these effects.

Protected area status
If not indicated in the source then check the World Database of Protected Areas.



Data Entry Stages


Location



Source



Taxonomy



Subject