By using this Atlas website and the Content available on and through it, you are agreeing to be bound by these Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Content that you access through the Atlas website may also be subject to specific terms and conditions imposed by a data provider (Data Provider Terms). These Data Provider Terms may include certain licences to use the Content, such as Creative Commons licenses.

The Data Provider Terms and the Terms of Use form the legally binding agreement between you, the Atlas and/or the data provider. If there is any inconsistency between these Terms of Use and the Data Provider Terms then the Data Provider Terms will prevail, but only to the extent that it applies to the particular Contents and to the extent necessary to resolve any conflict.

We may change these Terms of Use or a data provider may change their Data Provider Terms at any time without giving you notice, so please check them each time you visit the Atlas website.


The ‘Atlas’ means the Vermont Atlas of Life project and in the context of the agreement between you and the Atlas that these Terms of Use represent, the Atlas is the Vermont Center for Ecostudies –, as the legal entity representing and responsible for the Atlas project.

You/user – means you as a  website user, Content/Data user, or Content/Data provider.

Data provider – means an individual or organization that makes Content available on or via the Atlas website.

Atlas website – means the  website with the URL (or any URL replacing it or containing it within the URL including but not limited and associated web services, internet publishing tools, software, tools etc.

Content – means contributions or content; includes, but is not limited to, multimedia such as videos, sound files, photos, other images, music; textual material such as reviews, annotations, comments, forum and blog postings, information; biodiversity related information such as species names, morphology, taxonomy, behaviour, habitat, annotations, occurrence/sighting data, geospatial/location data, records, metadata; databases, datasets. Content may also include or be referred to as Data as the context requires, although Data is intended to be primarily the biodiversity related information outlined above.

Personal information is information relating to an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion provided.


In order to submit or use Content on the Atlas website or to utilize certain Atlas services or software you may be required to register to establish an account/user profile with the Atlas.

When registering, a genuine email address must be provided.

The Atlas recommends that you register using a pen name, nickname or pseudonym as your login name. You must not impersonate another living person or registered user. The Atlas may refuse registration of users whose suggested login names are considered inappropriate by the Atlas.

In some cases the Atlas may ask you to provide your real name or other identifying or contact details – such personal information will be managed in accordance with the Atlas Privacy Policy.

You will ensure that any registration information you give to the Atlas is accurate, correct and up to date.

The Atlas will not accept a registration that the Atlas suspects is being made by or on behalf of someone who has been suspended for violation of these Terms of Use.

You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality and security of your password(s). You are therefore responsible for everything done or submitted using your account.

If you become aware of any unauthorised use of your account, you should notify the Atlas immediately – .

The Atlas may lock, restrict and/or delete your registration or account if you breach these Terms of Use. User accounts locked or deactivated for breach of these Terms of Use may be re-enabled at the discretion of the Atlas director.

Contributing or uploading Content

You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post, display, upload, etc on the Atlas website.

You are free to make available, use or publish your Content elsewhere.

You warrant that you own or created the Content or have the necessary rights, licenses or permissions to make the Content available on the Atlas website.

You will make reasonable efforts to ensure your Content is accurate at the time you collected or created it or made it available on the Atlas website.

You should avoid providing sensitive data, eg threatened species locations, quarantine or biosecurity sensitive information without first consulting with the Atlas.

At the time of adding your Content you should nominate the type of licence which will apply to your Content and how data users can use it. You can select from a number of options, primarily Creative Commons licences.

Where you contribute more detailed or extensive data sets, eg Data, you should enter into a data provider agreement with the Atlas.

Where you have not identified any specific terms or licences or Data Provider Terms on the use of Content you contribute to the Atlas, then you grant to the Atlas a non-exclusive, worldwide, free, perpetual, irrevocable licence to:

a) reproduce, copy, store, cache, manage, display, publish, distribute, use, reproduce, adapt, modify, make derivatives, change into other formats and incorporate it into other works or collections, for non commercial purposes and the activities that the Atlas undertakes; and

b) make available the Content and derivatives in accordance with the VAL Terms and a Creative Commons licence.

Note in some cases Content may be in the public domain, in the sense that it is not subject to copyright protection because copyright has expired or it does not qualify for copyright, eg individual species sightings, ideas, facts, names, styles, titles, slogans. Neither you nor the Atlas will seek to assert any intellectual property rights over this public domain Content. The Atlas and data users will be free to use such public domain Content in any way, although attribution where appropriate is appreciated.

Using the Content

If you use or download Content from the Atlas website you:

Your use of Content may also be subject to specific terms and conditions imposed by a data provider (Data Provider Terms). You must comply with these Data Provider Terms. Where they exist they will be available through the metadata with the Content or shown with the Content.

If you want to use Content otherwise than in accordance with the data provider’s licence you need the approval or permission of the data provider.

A single page on the Atlas website may be made up of many different datasets, each covered by a different licence. You are required to check to see which licence applies to any portion(s) of the page or Content record you wish to use and abide by any restrictions on the Content.

Contributing to forums, making comments, posting information (Contributions, sharing)

Children’s Contributions and use of Content should be supervised by an adult.

You are legally responsible for your Contributions.

The Atlas may decide in its sole discretion what Contributions are published on the Atlas website.

You must not submit Contributions that:

You should be aware that your Contributions may remain online indefinitely.


This Atlas website and its Content are protected by copyright law. Copyright in this material resides with the Atlas or various other data providers as indicated.

The Atlas has accessed Content from many different sources. All reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that we have properly acknowledged/attributed the source of the Content and obtained the necessary permissions. If however you believe that we have not properly accessed your Content please do not hesitate to contact the Atlas and we will address your concerns.

Many of the trademarks or logos displayed on the Atlas website are the registered trademarks. All these trademarks cannot be used without the express written permission of the Atlas or the relevant third party.


The Atlas website, linked websites and Content are intended to provide information for general and scientific use, to assist research and public knowledge, discussion and policy development.

The Atlas makes the Atlas website and Content available on the understanding that you use them at your own risk – they are provided ‘as is’ and ‘as available’ and you exercise your own skill, judgement and care with respect to their use or your reliance on them.

The Atlas and data providers give no warranty regarding the quality, accuracy, completeness, currency, relevance or suitability for any particular purpose of the Content or the Atlas website.

To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, the Atlas (including its employees and contractors) and data providers exclude all liability to any person for any consequences, including but not limited to all losses, damages (including indirect, special or consequential damages, loss of business, revenue/profit, loss of time etc), costs, expenses and any other compensation, arising directly or indirectly from your use of the Atlas website or Content or inability to access the Atlas website.

If you find any inaccurate, out of date or incomplete Content on the Atlas website, or if you suspect that something is an infringement of intellectual property rights, you must let us know immediately by contacting the Atlas or the data provider of the Content.

Personal information

Our Privacy Policy also forms part of the Atlas Terms of Use and it describes how we use your personal information when you use the Atlas website.

Whenever you give us personal information you are consenting to its collection and use in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

As a user of the Atlas website you must not use any personal information made available to you on this Atlas website for any purpose other than:

Links to external websites

The Atlas is all about bringing together biodiversity information from a host of sources around Australia and internationally. As such the Atlas provides links to a range of external  websites; however, we do not have direct control over the content of the linked websites nor the changes that may occur to content on those websites.

It is your responsibility to make your own decisions about the accuracy, completeness, currency, relevance or suitability for any particular purpose of the content on external websites.

The Atlas is not responsible for, and does not endorse, the content on external websites.

The Atlas publishes links to external websites at its discretion, and reserves the right to remove user-posted links to external websites for any reason and at any time.

Linking to the Atlas website

We encourage use of links on external websites to the Atlas homepage or other relevant pages on the Atlas website.

Such links should not suggest that your website, organization or services/products are endorsed by the Atlas.

The Atlas reserves the right to prevent linking or framing by giving notice on the Atlas website.

Please advise us of any links you make to the Atlas website.

Security of the Atlas website

The internet exists across insecure, public networks and there is a risk that transmissions to or from this website may be intercepted and modified by third parties or that files obtained from or through this website may contain computer viruses, disabling codes, worms or other defects.

The Atlas accepts no liability for any interference with or damage to your computer system, software, or data occurring in connection with or relating to the Atlas website or its use including the tools provided. You are encouraged to take appropriate and adequate precautions to ensure that whatever is selected from this website is free of viruses or other contamination that may interfere with or damage your computer system, software or data.

You must not try to circumvent the security features of this Atlas website, or tamper with, hack into, or in some other way disrupts any computer system, server,  website, router or other device used to host this website or make it available.

Email addresses on the Atlas website

The presence of email addresses on the Atlas website does not infer consent to send unsolicited commercial electronic messages (email) to those addresses.


These Terms of Use are governed by the law applicable to the Australian Capital Territory and the parties submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of that Territory.

No delay, neglect or forbearance on the part of Atlas in enforcing these Terms of Use will be, or deemed to be, a waiver. Nor will it prejudice any rights of the Atlas.

Privacy Policy

The purpose of this Privacy Policy is to set out how the Atlas will deal with personal information gathered by the Atlas when you visit and use the site.

Site visit data

The Atlas website is operated by the Atlas without the use of an external service provider. When visiting the Atlas website, a record of your visit is logged. The following information is supplied by your browser or recorded by our servers:

We use the site visit data for the purposes of:

This site visit data may be aggregated for analysis with identifiable characteristics removed. We may publish or provide this aggregated data to other people, for instance site/page usage statistics around a particular data set may be provided to the original data provider. We may also provide usage statistics to the Atlas funders.

No attempt will be made to identify users or their browsing activities except in the unlikely event of an investigation, where a law enforcement agency may exercise a warrant to inspect the server’s logs.

Collection and use of personal information

When you email us, use an online form, submit content or data, enter a user profile, access restricted pages or contribute your details to a forum or as a contributor or expert:

Note also that if you provide your personal information associated with biodiversity related data or records, then users of that data will be able to see the personal information provided, and may use that personal information to verify the details of the particular record, to acknowledge/attribute you as the creator of the record, or contact you to request greater access, further information or support.

Certain personal information may be required such as name and email address to provide a particular Atlas service or product, eg data set, to you or respond to your inquiries. This information may also be used by the Atlas to inform you of additional related products or services or obtain your feedback on the service or product.


A cookie is a small file that a website sends to your browser when you access information at that site. Upon receipt of the information your browser saves the information on your hard-disk (unless your browser doesn’t support cookies). Each time you use your computer to access that same website, the information that was previously received is sent back to the website by your browser. It records information necessary for certain website functions, such as remembering your preferences or settings.

The Atlas may use cookies for some of its interactive features however these cookies collect only enough information to enable website functions.

If you don’t want to accept cookies, you can set your browser and/or firewall to block them. You will still be able to access most Atlas content but some interactive features will be unavailable.

Interaction with the Atlas website

There are a number of interactive features on the Atlas website that you can contribute to, eg forums, mailing lists, reviews, annotations, message boards and emails. Online forms and forums record information on clearly labelled fields. The information you provide will be solely used for the purposes stated on the form/page.

Please keep in mind if you directly disclose or post personal information through the Atlas website on pages such as sightings information, forums or message boards, this information becomes available to anyone with access to the internet and may be collected and used by others. We suggest that you use your discretion and exercise caution when providing your personal information. Therefore, we recommend that you refrain from posting any information that you do not want seen in these public areas.

This site contains links to other sites. The Atlas is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such websites.

Security of information

Your personal information will not be released unless the law requires or permits it or your permission is given. We provide a secure environment and a reliable system but you should be aware that there may be inherent risks associated with the transmission of information via the internet. For those who do not wish to use the internet, the Atlas provides alternative ways of obtaining and providing information.

Contact details

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy or any privacy issues related to this site, please contact us.