Digitization of ornithological content at the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) contributes to the goal of the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL). EOL wants to describe and illustrate all species known to science via a freely accessible online information system: http://eol.org
The taxa selection is especially based on Louette’s ongoing research (such as on Accipiter raptors and Ploceus weavers), endemism and threat status of birds in the Congo Basin and surroundings and on presence in the ornithological collection at the RMCA. To create or enrich EOL taxon pages about Afrotropical birds, we integrate biological information and images from various sources via a new LifeDesk: http://eol.org/resources/621
Therefore, we summarize scientific content (including descriptions of species and ecological, distributional, genetic and conservation aspects) from publications (such as specialized papers and handbooks about birds) and online resources (such as BirdLife International). Extra information from digitized old literature can be linked via Biodiversity Heritage Library. Beside contributions of professional or amateur photographers, images are assembled from the RMCA’s photographic archives, including historical grayscale pictures of living birds. All this online access to knowledge about the Sub-Saharan avifauna will be valuable for scientists and birders. Besides, it may act to enliven collaboration among African experts and help conservation in some of the world's biodiversity hotspots.