Download a Simple List of Species and GBIF ID nos

I would like to download a simple list of plant Species and their GBIF Index Nos, so that I can link out to URLs for all the medicinal plant species I have in my database, using the form:

where XXXXXXX is the GBIF index no.

I have found a massive backbone taxonomy file, but it’s so large, Excel can’t open all of it. I only have about, 9,000 species probably, to find.

Hi Michael,

What you’re looking for is the species key. Rather than downloading all 6 million names in the backbone taxonomy, I recommend using the species API. For example, if you want to know the species key for Pistia stratiotes, you would call:

This query does simple matching for the scientific name specified. If you want to make sure that only species returned, you can add rank=species. In the JSON response, the species key is returned right at the beginning, e.g.,

"key": 2870583,

For 9,000 names, you probably wouldn’t want to do this one by one. There are plenty of tools around to help you, and I believe even Excel (on Windows at least) can read JSON from REST APIs. I’m not able to test this myself, but a few Google searches should help you.

If all else fails, you could share your list of species and someone—myself or the kind folks behind—will gladly help.



Jubbly. Thanks very much!