The website of Taiwan Encyclopedia of Life. (Internet photo)
All it takes is a click to learn about Taiwan's smallest owl or to listen to the sound of endemic green tree frogs, thanks to a new encyclopedic database that profiles almost 13,000 species of animals, plants and other life forms in Taiwan.
The Chinese-language-only Taiwan Encyclopedia of Life, officially unveiled Tuesday, is part of a global project that seeks to provide one-page profiles of all of the 1.9 million known living species on Earth, including fungi, protists and bacteria.
Work on creating the database started in 2011, when Academia Sinica, Taiwan's top research institute, and the Forestry Bureau under the Council of Agriculture began collaborating.
The following year, Academia Sinica signed an agreement with the global Encyclopedia of Life Secretariat to become its 16th partner. The Chinese-language encyclopedia was set up in October this year.
Over 100 schools, research institutes and experts were involved in writing and reviewing the information on the Taiwanese encyclopedia, which currently profiles fish, insects, birds, mammals, spiders, amphibians, reptiles, corals and other life forms, according to the Forestry Bureau.
The encyclopedia includes images, audio and video clips, descriptions and book references and can be accessed at: http://eol.taibif.tw/
The global EOL website, unveiled in 2008, currently offers information on 1.35 million species and boasts a collection of close to 2 million images.