HISPABIOTA MARINA is a long term project implemented by Programa EcoMar in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to create the first inventory of the coastal and marine biota from Hispaniola Island (Dominican Republic and Haiti). All taxonomic marine groups (from microalgae to mammals) are being reviewed to create full databases and distribution maps. Preliminary species lists are available for most of the groups and some results (e.g. macroalgae, sponges, chitons, sea anemones, stomatopods, brachiopods and cetaceans) have been published and/or presented in scientific events.  A general inventory of the marina fauna is also available. The echinoderm database has been used to prepare the paper: “Recent echinoderms for Hispaniola Island” a chapter in the regional book Echinoderms research and diversity in Latin American published by Springer in 2012. Data from humpback whale (Megaptera novaengliae) in the cetacean database were used to prepare the book Datos sobre las ballenas jorobadas de la bahía de Samaná in 2007 to promote a responsible whale watching in Samaná Bay; and a scientific paper presented in the International Whaling Commission in 2012 to demonstrate the socioeconomic importance of whale watching versus hunting;  "A review of marine mammal records from Hispaniola" was presented at the 21st Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals in 2015. The project: “Contribution of Hispabiota Marina to the Biogeographic Information System of the Oceans” was implemented between 2013 to 2014; 185 occurrences of echinoderm species with coordinates were incorporated to OBIS through the Caribbean node. In 2015 the Ministry of the Environment requested Programa EcoMar to prepare the national report “Current situation of biodiversity of Dominican Republic” and 2,047 Dominican marine species from Hispabiota Marina were included. The contributions of Hispabiota Marina highlight the capacity of Programa EcoMar to mobilize biodiversity data and the potential of this project to enrich the international databases with new data from Hispaniola Island.


Last updated: November 15, 2020 Programa Ecomar, Inc., Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic