The goal of the Baboon Spider Atlas is to discover and describe the diversity of these amazing spiders in southern Africa, so that they may be better appreciated and conserved. We provide a platform for experts and novices alike to get involved in this citizen science project. Remarkably, we still know relatively little about our baboon spiders - new species are still discovered, and we don’t know the true distributions of many species in the region. This is the most important information needed to fully appreciate the value and importance of these spiders, and to take effective steps to conserve them.
To achieve this goal the main thrust of the project is to assemble photographic records of baboon spiders in the wild, together with data about where and when the spiders were seen, in an online database. This project is being undertaken in partnership with the Animal Demography Unit of the University of Cape Town, and uses their Virtual Museum to store the data under the SpiderMap project. The ADU has a long and successful history of running atlas projects, such as for the birds, reptiles, frogs, and butterflies. We hope to follow in this tradition with the Baboon Spider Atlas. The data are then freely available to conservationists and bona fide researchers on request from the ADU.