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MVZ Data Capture Guidelines: Collecting Events

MVZ Policies, Guidelines and Procedures > Entering Locality Data into the MVZ Database

A collecting event is the unique combination of locality and date where collecting occurred. Additional information describes whether the event represents a valid distribution for the species and what the source of the specimen was if it was not taken from the wild (see Valid_Distribution_fg and Collecting_Source below). For example, the following records represent separate collecting events, even though they are from the same locality:

2 mi W Bitterroot River on Hwy. 10, Missoula Co., Montana 10 Oct 2000
2 mi W Bitterroot River on Hwy. 10, Missoula Co., Montana 11 Oct 2000
Data Entry protocol
  • Verbatim Locality: Verbatim Locality is entered as part of the collecting event record (versus Specific Locality, which is in the locality table). Verbatim Locality refers to the collecting locality (including elevation, geographic coordinates, TRS, and any higher geography) as written verbatim in field notes or on a specimen tag - whatever the collector wrote, warts and all. See also the description for Specific Locality.
  • Verbatim Date: This is the date that a collecting event occurred as given in the field notes or on specimen tags. If an animal was taken live from the field but died in captivity at a later date, the Verbatim Date should reflect the date that it was taken from the wild. The date that the animal died, if it is different from the Verbatim_Date, should be entered in a separate field called Verbatim_Preservation_Date. Verbatim_Preservation_Date is entered on the Specimen Detail page in the Data Entry application.
  • Begin_Date and End_Date: These date fields refer to the range of dates encompassing the Verbatim Date. If the Verbatim_Date is a valid date, both the Begin_Date and the End_Date should be the same as the Verbatim_Date. If the Verbatim_Date is not given, leave the Verbatim_Date and Begin_Date fields blank and put the latest possible date in the End_Date field (e.g., the date the specimen was received or accessioned). For any other Verbatim_Date, fill the Begin_Date and End_Date fields to encompass the entire time period given in the Verbatim_Date. Some examples follow:
    Verbatim_Date Begin_Date End_Date
    1907 01 Jan 1907 31 Dec 1907
    Feb 2000 01 Feb 2000 29 Feb 2000
    early March 1999 01 Mar 1999 15 Mar 1999
    mid-April 1956 11 Apr 1956 20 Apr 1956
    late-May 1942 15 May 1942 31 May 1942
    spring 1906 21 Mar 1906 20 Jun 1906 (assumes temperate northern hemisphere)
    summer 1910 21 Jun 1910 20 Sep 1910 (assumes temperate northern hemisphere)
    fall 1937 21 Sep 1937 20 Dec 1937 (assumes temperate northern hemisphere)
    winter 1900 21 Dec 1899 20 Mar 1900 (assumes temperate northern hemisphere)
  • Valid_Distribution_fg: This is a flag to mark the collecting event as being valid for use in determinations of species distributions. It should be yes if the specimens were collected from the wild at the given date and location.
  • Collecting Source: This field keeps track of the source of specimens from a collecting event. All collecting events that have a Valid_Distribution_fg="yes" should have a Collecting_Source of "wild caught." Other possible values in the controlled vocabulary for this field include: "aviary", "breeder", "captive", "customs", "lab", "market", "pet shop", "supply company", and "zoo".

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