The Fishes of Texas Project: Government-University Collaboration to Improve Science and Conservation Management
Since 2006, the Fishes of Texas Project at University of Texas Austin has sought to improve freshwater fish occurrence data for the state of Texas and make it openly accessible to facilitate research and improve aquatic resource management. Seven federal and state sponsors have contributed funding, but 73% of the total $2.7 million has come from US Fish and Wildlife Service’s State Wildlife Grant Program via Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Initially the Project focused on data digitization and compilation of strictly specimen-vouchered data, followed by georeferencing and development of an interactive website/database (http://www.fishesoftexas.org). More recently, non-vouchered citizen science, angler-based, and agency datasets have been added, thereby increasing both geographic and temporal density of records, and a selected subset of data fields for all records is now published to GBIF and iDigBio.