Is there a dataset of common names for species? I’m using the backbone dataset which has scientific names, but would like to use common names.
The problem was I was only looking at backbone-simple.txt.gz.
In the full backbone.zip there is a VernacularName.tsv which contains the common names.
Hi - I would recommend to consult with ETI UNESCO, they should have this sort of information readily available - cheers, Paul.
There is no comprehensive list, because communities across the globe use different vernacular names. There are about 6,500 languages across the globe, and people who share the same language (e.g. Spanish, Swahili) use different vernacular names for species, which can vary by local human community, where the same vernacular name is often used for different species and the same species often has different vernacular names. Ethnobotanists and ethnozoologists record these names for local communities and identify the species using voucher specimens. All of this also applies to English language speakers. Therefore, it is quite important to specify what you want to use these names for, what human population you are referring to, and which species.
Thanks for the tips.
Ideally there would be a dataset with the vernacular names as used in each region so it could be localised, eg. if the audience is Australian they’d see the Australian name, and a US audience would see the US name.
VernacularName.tsv from the GBIF Backbone does seem to contain this information but I’m not sure it’s complete. I noticed it was using different vernacular names than iNaturalist so am still on the hunt for other potential datasets to evaluate.
I’m happy with only Australian names, but was looking for something that aggregated a bunch of different sources. Which species? Ideally something that aggregates them all.
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