Sharkipedia: a curated open access database of shark and ray life history traits and abundance time-series
A curated database of shark and ray biological data is increasingly necessary both to support fisheries management and conservation efforts, and to test the generality of hypotheses of vertebrate macroecology and macroevolution. Sharks and rays are one of the most charismatic, evolutionary distinct, and threatened lineages of vertebrates, comprising around 1,250 species. To accelerate shark and ray conservation and science, we developed Sharkipedia as a curated open-source database and research initiative to make all published biological traits and population trends accessible to everyone. Sharkipedia hosts information on 58 life history traits from 274 sources, for 170 species, from 39 families, and 12 orders related to length (n = 9 traits), age (8), growth (12), reproduction (19), demography (5), and allometric relationships (5), as well as 871 population time-series from 202 species. Sharkipedia relies on the backbone taxonomy of the IUCN Red List and the bibliography of Shark-References. Sharkipedia has profound potential to support the rapidly growing data demands of fisheries management, international trade regulation as well as anchoring vertebrate macroecology and macroevolution.