About the project and acknowledgements
It started with the final BSc-project of Luís Aliasse, who examined centres of diversity and endemism of about 500 mammal and tree species using ArcView GIS. This project was done at the Department of Forestry, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique, concluded in August 2004 and supervised by Michael Schneider.
Michael had developed the required methods for vectorization and georeferencing of distribution maps, creating shapefiles, conversion into grid and superposition of grids. Luís results looked promising, so Michael asked IUCN Mozambique for financial support. In October 2004 it was granted under the Environmental and Natural Resources Management Fund (ENRMF) Project No. 17/2004/FGRNA/PES/C2CICLO2. Additional support came form the Department of Forestry, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique and from Centrum für Internationale Migration und Entwicklung (CIM), Frankfurt, Germany for Michaels salary, office room, a grant for the purchase of three computers, printer and a scanner.
Now Victorino A. Buramuge and Filipa Serfontein joined Luís and Michael and the four of them tackled over three thousand species. Filipa was producing shapefiles form amphibians; Luís and Victorino did the same for mammals, birds and reptiles. Michael converted the shapefiles into grids and calculated the biodiversity hotspots and hotspots of endemism. Michael and Victorino also gathered the information on the conservation status of the roughly 3000 vertebrate species.
From November 2004 to February 2005 Victorino and Luís were travelling throughout Mozambique in order to meet native speakers of the 20 different vernacular languages of the country. With the help of field guides on mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish more then 100 persons were questioned to obtain the vernacular names of as many vertebrates species as possible.
Together with two more people, Carlos Tungadza and Abdul, Michael compiled the final spreadsheet so that the project was concluded in May 2005.
Finally, Roland Fritz, Horgenzell, Germany, converted the spreadsheet into a MY-SQL webbased database with php frontend and Institute for Forest Zoology, University of Freiburg, Germany, kindly hosts the database.