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What is SwissBOL?

SwissBOL (Swiss Barcode Of Life) is, since June 2015, an Association that aims at establishing a central coordination of the activities related to the DNA barcodes in Switzerland. The SwissBOL network was founded with the goal of using DNA barcoding to capture the diversity of life in Switzerland and to use this information to monitor national biodiversity and enhance conservation strategies.

Switzerland, although a relatively small country, contains multiple microclimates and harbors remarkable levels of biodiversity. Current estimates suggest that there are between 50,000 and 70,000 species in Switzerland but the absence of precise information regarding species numbers and their geographic distributions makes it difficult to accurately monitor species diversity. A comprehensive inventory of Swiss biodiversity is thus an integral part of species conservation and protection. While such inventories have historically relied on traditional taxonomic methods for species identification, DNA barcodes are increasingly used as a tool for species identification and may serve as a complement to traditional taxonomy.