You can download data from the ALA in a number of different forms. To do this:


1. Make sure you are logged into the ALA.

2. Perform a search for occurrence records, or try this example search for red and grey kangaroo sightings across Australia.



3. Filter the results by taxon, location, source of the data and other facets to narrow the list down to only the most relevant records to you.

4. Click the Download button near the top right of the screen.



5. Choose a download type - Occurrence records, Species checklist, or Species field-guide (see below for detailed descriptions).

6. Tell us why you're downloading this data (this helps us learn about what our data is used for) and click Next.

7. Our system will start to collect the information and prepare the file(s), and you'll be sent an email when the data is available for download.



Occurrence records

Occurrence records are downloaded in a CSV file, which can then be imported into a number of different tools for further analysis. There are a few different options for what data gets included in the download:


  • Full Darwin Core file - this will include in the data every field listed in the Darwin Core biodiversity datafile standard.
  • ALA Legacy Format - this includes all Darwin Core information, our data quality assertions (how accurate we think each record is, based on the supplied information), and sampling data including spatial information (eg. IBRA or IMCRA or climate information inferred from the record's location). Basically, this option downloads everything we know about a record.
  • Customised download - you can choose which data fields to include. This is useful in cases where a record includes additional data beyond the standard DwC fields, but you'd still like to include them, or to exclude sets of fields that aren't relevant to your research.



You can also choose whether the data is in CSV (comma-separated values) or TSV (tab-separated values) format.


Downloading occurrence records will automatically create a Digital Object Identifier, or DOI, for that set of data. You can read more about DOIs and the ALA here.


Species checklist

A species checklist is a short list of information in CSV format about every species represented in the list of occurrence records. It includes the species' LSID (life science identifier), scientific name, taxonomic classification, common name, conservation status (if known) in each state or territory, and whether the species is on any invasive species lists.


Species field-guide

A field guide provides general information on the species represented in the occurrence records in PDF format. It includes scientific and common names, a representative photo (if available) of the species, and a heat map of their sightings across Australia. It also includes a hyperlink on the first page to the original search used to find the occurrence records used to generate the field guide.



Downloading records

If you've selected a species checklist or field guide, those files will begin to download immediately once they have been generated. In the case of occurrence records, our system may need a moment to collect all the requested data - once this is complete, you'll receive an email with a link to the dataset, or you can access it immediately via the "Download now" button on the download progress page. If you close this window, or don't receive the email, you can find it again on the My Downloads page.