Castor canadensis Kuhl, 1820 observed in United States of America by Doug D. (licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0)

Frequently Asked Questions

This page provides answers to frequently asked questions about biodiversity data standards, sharing data, and how to access GBIF North America data.

What is GBIF?

“GBIF—the Global Biodiversity Information Facility—is an international network and data infrastructure funded by the world’s governments and aimed at providing anyone, anywhere, open access to data about all types of life on Earth.” For more information, please visit:

How do I get involved with GBIF?

There are many ways to get involved with GBIF, including:

  • Become a member – “GBIF’s national and organizational members—formally known as Participants—represent governments and institutions from around the world. Our network also includes hundreds of institutions that publish biodiversity data along with volunteers who participate in the growing number of citizen science programmes around the world.”
  • Become a publisher – “Organizations wishing to share data through GBIF can register here to request endorsement as a data publisher.”
  • Attend a community webinar – “The goal of the community webinars is to improve sustained communication and interaction between the Secretariat and the broader GBIF community, particularly the GBIF nodes.”
  • Attend a North America quarterly regional meeting – The North America region has established a quarterly meeting schedule to promote enhanced collaboration and communication across the region.

What are the data standards used to share biodiversity data?

Where can I find biodiversity data for the North America region?

The Data menu item on this portal facilitates exploration of North American biodiversity data on a regional scale. The data presented come directly from GBIF and have been filtered for country-coordinate mismatches. The following countries are represented in the portal data based on geographic and political considerations:

The country code (ISO 3166-1-alpha-2) used to scope data on this portal are: “US”, “CA”, “MX”, “UM”, “PR”, “VI”, “AS”, “GU”, “MP”.

Click here to view trends in data availability on the GBIF network, 2008 to 2021, for the GBIF North America region.

How can I share biodiversity data with GBIF?

The most common way to share data is via the Integrated Publishing Toolkit (IPT). You can learn more about becoming a data publisher here: