We are EUROSMALLMAMMALS, a scientific collaborative network specifically dedicated to small mammals. The aim of this initiative is to promote bottom-up open science and networking among European scientists involved in small mammal studies, sharing data and expertise on this key group of species. Small mammals cover a range of ecological functions and provide a wide diversity of ecosystem services, from seed dispersal to ground vegetation renovation. Several species are also key in parasitic and zoonotic disease cycles.
Most information on small mammals depend on trapping or capture mark recapture studies, so that the EUROMAMMALS spatial database has been further implemented to accommodate this type of data. The partners were requested metadata of their past and current projects according to a specific data protocol, including study area characteristics, types of experimental design, local environmental and climatic data, descriptors of capture events and data derived from laboratory screening. Before being included in the database, the raw data passed through the customary quality check and harmonization process of the EUROMAMMALS database, to promote data reliability, robustness and standardization, essential for their implementation in collaborative study themes.
EUROSMALLMAMMALS collaborative initiative is constantly expanding, involving partners that cover different fields of interest within small mammal ecology. In this sense, by scaling up the knowledge from the individual to the ecosystem and by sharing data and expertise, this initiative could give the opportunity to fill some important knowledge gaps and provide novel perspectives to evaluate, retrospectively and predictively, the effect of global changes on ecosystems functioning and disease risk.