The Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life is planned to become
a comprehensive catalogue of all known species of organisms on Earth by
the year 2011. Rapid progress has been made recently and this, the seventh
edition of the Annual Checklist, contains 1,008,965
species. Please note that this is probably just more than half of the world's
known species. This means that for many groups it continues to be deficient.
present Catalogue is compiled with sectors provided by 47 taxonomic databases
from around the world. Many of these contain taxonomic data and opinions
from extensive networks of specialists, so that the complete work contains
contributions from more than 3,000 specialists from throughout the taxonomic
profession. Species 2000 and ITIS teams peer review databases, select appropriate
sectors and integrate the sectors into a single coherent catalogue with
a single hierarchical classification. It is planned to introduce alternative
taxonomic treatments and alternative classifications, but an important feature
is that for those users who wish to use it, a single preferred catalogue,
based on peer reviews, will continue to be provided.
is published as two products:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue
of Life: 2007 Annual Checklist
The Annual Checklist is published
each year as a fixed edition that can be cited and used as a common catalogue
for comparative purposes by many organisations. A copy is on the CD-ROM,
which is distributed free of charge, and an identical copy is on the website
Archived earlier editions are also available on the website.
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: Dynamic Checklist
The Dynamic Checklist is a virtual catalogue operated on the Internet and
available both for users and as an electronic web-service at www.catalogueoflife.org.
The Dynamic Checklist harvests taxonomic sectors and associated strands
of hierarchical classification dynamically from the source databases across
the internet. The Dynamic Checklist is presently less extensive than the
Annual Checklist because fewer taxonomic sectors have been connected so
It differs in concept from the Annual Checklist in that:
(i) the taxonomic records may be updated and the catalogue changed more
frequently than in the Annual Checklist and (ii) the Dynamic Checklist contains
additional regional species checklists (such as the Regional Checklist -
Europe, effectively a Pan-European Species Checklist) not included in the
In June 2001 the Species 2000 and ITIS organisations decided
to work together to create the Catalogue of Life. They declared a target
for completing coverage for all 1.75 million known species by 2011. The
two organisations remain separate and different in structure. However, by
working together in creating a common product, the partnership has enabled
them to reduce duplication of effort, make better use of resources, and
to accelerate production. The combined Annual Checklist on CD-ROM has become
well established as a cited reference used for data compilation and comparison.
For instance, it is used as the principal taxonomic index in the GBIF data
portal and recognised by the CBD.
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) is a partnership of federal
agencies and other organisations from the United States, Canada, and Mexico,
with data stewards and experts from around the world (see http://www.itis.gov).
The ITIS database is an automated reference of scientific and common names
of biota of interest to North America. It contains more than 535,000 names
for species in all kingdoms, and is accessible via the World Wide Web in
English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese (http://itis.gbif.net).
ITIS is part of the US National Biological Information Infrastructure (http://www.nbii.gov)
and an associate member of GBIF.
ITIS is managed by Michael Ruggiero
(Director), Thomas Orrell (Deputy Director), David Nicolson (Data Development
Leader), Ray Carlino (Information Technology Leader), Roy McDiarmid (Taxonomy
Leader), Guy Baillargeon (ITIS-Canada Director), and Patricia Koleff (SIIT-Mexico
Director). They are advised and supported by the ITIS Steering Committee
and ITIS Data Stewards.
is an autonomous federation of taxonomic database custodians, involving
taxonomists throughout the world. Its goal is to collate a uniform and validated
index to the world's known species. It is a not-for-profit company limited
by guarantee (registered in England No. 3479405) with six directors and
taxonomic database organisations from around the world as members. It is
sponsored by CODATA, IUBS and IUMS; is an associate participant in GBIF;
and is recognised by UNEP and the CBD. There are two regional programmes:
Species 2000 europa (http://www.sp2000europa.org),
funded by the European Commission, working with global and regional databases
based in Europe and Species 2000 Asia-Oceania (www.sp2000asiaoceania.org)
working to promote taxonomy and taxonomic databasing in that region. The
Phase II Programme is establising a number of regional/national hubs of
which the European Hub, the Species 2000 China Node (http://www.sp2000.cn),
and the N America Hub are the first to appear.
The Species 2000 scientific
programme is led by its Team: Guy Baillargeon (Canada), Frank A Bisby (UK),
Marc Brugman (Netherlands), Jerry Cooper (New Zealand), Dennis Gordon (New
Zealand), Luciane Marinoni (Brazil), Michael A Ruggiero (USA), Vishwas Chavan
(India), Junko Shimura (Japan), Edward Vanden Berghe (Belgium), Richard
J White (UK), Karen L Wilson (Australia), with further assistance from the
Species 2000 europa Steering Group, the Species 2000 Asia-Oceania Group
and the Species 2000 China Node.