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pdf SCAR EXCOM 2013 WP06: Report of the SCAR Standing Scientific Group on Life Sciences (SSG-LS)

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SCAR EXCOM 2013 WP06: Report of the SCAR Standing Scientific Group on Life Sciences (SSG-LS)
SCAR Executive Committee Meeting
22-23 July 2013, Barcelona, Spain

SCAR EXCOM 2013 WP06: Report of the SCAR Standing Scientific Group on Life Sciences (SSG-LS)

Working Paper 6
Agenda Item: 2.2.2
Deadline: 22 May 2013
Person Responsible: Graham H.

Executive Summary

Title: SSG Life Sciences

Authors: Graham Hosie (CO), B . Danis, M. Hindell, Y. Ropert-Coudert, K. Takahashi, R. Cavanagh, N. Johnston, J. Ayton, M. Shepanek, P. O’Brien, H-U. Peters, D. Bergstrom, G. Capodaglio


EG-ABI is seeking to improve the management, discovery, exploration, analysis and presentation of biodiversity data. It is still at the early stages but has been making significant progress for the SCAR community. EG-BAMM has been strengthening links with ABI, APECS and the new Action Group on Remote Sensing. The BAMM and Remote Sensing groups will increase our capacity to monitor bird and mammal populations and species by using satellites to count animals. BAMM is working on improving its databases, especially for bird and mammal tracking data in collaboration with ABI. The SO-CPR database is also being redeveloped through the support of the Australian Antarctic Data Centre to provide easier access and distribution of plankton data. SO-CPR Survey is now an endorsed programme of SOOS. It is taking a leadership role in the new Global Alliance of CPR Surveys (GACS) plankton monitoring programme. It continues to expand into new regions with South Africa and France joining the Survey. Korea plans to join soon. EG-CPR has supported capacity building training workshops for new personnel from Brazil, France and Korea. ICED is developing its core activities on food web modelling, data synthesis, fieldwork, policy information and E&O. Links are being strengthened with SOOS, APECS, IPCC and CCAMLR. Additional workshops are planned to address important issue relating to Antarctic and the EU, as well as improving E&O. EG-HB&M has merged with its COMPNAP counterpart and is continuing to work with IASC and APECS. The new JEGHBM is seeking to enhance tele-medicine, tele-health, research and associated databases.

Important Issues or Factors: 

SCAR EG-HB&M and the COMNAP Medical Network have merged to form the Joint Expert Group Human Biology and Medicine (JEGHBM).

A new observing system is being proposed “Antarctic Near-Shore and Terrestrial Observing System (ANTOS)”, which is expected to be supported by an expert group within the SSG-LS. A full proposal which will be presented at the SCAR Business Meeting, Auckland 2014.

Recommendations/Actions and Justification:

AG-Acoustics should be abolished as its work is deemed complete and future requests should be handled by SCATS, as occurred in 2011-2012.

Expected Benefits/Outcomes:

The RAATD will lead to the production of habitat usage maps for bird and mammals and identify multi- species areas of ecological significance. EG-CPR participation in GACS will allow us to place our observed changes in Antarctic plankton in a global context. Continued engagement with other partners, workshops and training enhances our knowledge exchange, capacity building and E&O.


In addition to supporting SRPs (e.g. AnT-ERA and AntEco), and national programmes, LS groups work with and contribute to SOOS, CCAMLR, GACS, IPCC, GBIF, OBIS, APECS, CEP. ANTOS aims tot provide a platform for current and future SCAR Life Sciences programmes (e.g. AnT-ERA, AntEco)., as well as national Antarctic programmes

Budget Implications:

An Export Group for ANTOS will have funding implications but not until the 2015-16 budget period.