Most of the images of plants and animals on our site are provided under, either Creative Commons license or copyright. Where they have Creative Commons licence, you are able to use those images as long as you comply with the terms of the particular variant of CC used. For the images with copyright, you will need to contact the copyright holder yourself and ask for permission. The ALA has permission for use on our site but cannot confer that right to other parties.

Permissions for use can be confusing as some photographers don’t want other people using their images at all, whereas some are willing to share them if they’re acknowledged. The licencing information will tell you the photographer's preference.

To find the licencing information, follow these steps;

  • When looking at images in the gallery, click on the image to open up more information. The source and the rights information may be there.

  • That may be enough detail to show you how to properly acknowledge the original source of the image when you use it. If not, you can click on View details of this record.

  • Then click on the Data resource link.

  • Under the Rights field it may show the particular licence for that data resource. If there is no information there, it may be best to choose another image. If the information on the chosen image, or a watermark, indicates there is a copyright on the picture, it is best to find another image to use. In both cases, if the image is one you would particularly like to use, you may wish to contact the owner to clarify the permission or request additional rights such as commercial use if needed.

To learn more about data licensing, visit our Data standards, quality and licensing articles.