Integrated Publishing Toolkit(IPT)

free and open access to biodiversity data

The Australian Zooplankton Database (1938 onwards)

Latest version published by CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere on May 28, 2018 CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere

Zooplankton are the key trophic link between primary producers and fish in pelagic ecosystems. Historically, there are few zooplankton time series in Australia, with no datasets longer than two years prior to 2008. Here we compile 98,676 abundance records of more than 1,000 zooplankton taxa from unpublished research cruises, student projects, published literature and the recent Integrated Marine Observing System. This dataset covers the entire coastal and shelf region of Australia and dates back to 1938. Most records are for copepods, but there are also data for other taxa such as decapods, chaetognaths, thaliaceans, appendicularians and cladocerans. Metadata are provided for each record, including dates, coordinates and information on mesh size and sampling methods. To facilitate analysis across the multiple datasets, we have updated the species names according to the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS; and converted units to abundance per m3. These data will be valuable for studies of biodiversity, biogeography, impacts of climate change and ecosystem health. We encourage researchers holding additional Australian zooplankton data to contact us and contribute their data to the dataset so we can periodically publish updates.

Data from IMOS Project 599 the National Reference Stations has been excluded as it is available from OBIS via the 'IMOS - AusCPR: Zooplankton Abundance' dataset.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 44,785 records.

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 44,785 records in English (2 MB) - Update frequency: continually
Metadata as an EML file download in English (7 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (7 KB)


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 92580ab9-28a5-490f-9a6a-a5fa45449332.  CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Atlas of Living Australia.


Occurrence; Specimen


Who created the resource:

Claire Davies
Experimental Scientist
CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere GPO Box 1538 7000 Hobart Tasmania AU

Who can answer questions about the resource:

Claire Davies
Experimental Scientist
CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere GPO Box 1538 7000 Hobart Tasmania AU

Who filled in the metadata:

Dave Watts
OBIS Node Manager
CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Castray Esplanade 7000 Hobart Tasmania +61 3 6232 5062

Who else was associated with the resource:

Dave Watts

Geographic Coverage

Australian waters

Bounding Coordinates South West [-44.3, 110], North East [-2.9, 155.5]

Taxonomic Coverage

Arthropoda Brachiopoda, Bryozoa, Cephalorhyncha, Chaetognatha, Chordata, Cnidaria, Coelenterata, Ctenophora, Echinodermata, Mollusca, Nemertea, Platyhelminthes and Rotifera, Some Chromista taxa.

Phylum  Arthropoda

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 1938-05-26 / 2014-06-02

Additional Metadata

marine, harvested by iOBIS

Alternative Identifiers 92580ab9-28a5-490f-9a6a-a5fa45449332