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
sixth edition of the Annual Checklist, contains 884,552
species, approximately half of all known organisms.
The present Catalogue is compiled with sectors provided
by 37 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 an estimated 2-3,000
specialists from throughout the taxonomic profession.
The work of the Species 2000 and ITIS teams is to
peer review databases, select appropriate sectors
and to integrate the sectors into a single coherent
catalogue with a single hierarchical classification.
It is planned in future to introduce alternative taxonomic
treatments and alternative hierarchies, 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.
The Catalogue is published in two products:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life:
2006 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 CD-ROM, which is distributed free of charge,
and an identical copy is on the web site at www.sp2000.org.
Archive versions of the earlier editions are on the
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life:
The Dynamic Checklist is a virtual catalogue operated
on the internet and available both for users and as
an electronic web-service at www.sp2000.org.
The Dynamic Checklist harvests taxonomic sectors and
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 far. 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 Annual Checklist.
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 composition.
For instance, it is used as the principal taxonomic
index in the GBIF data portal and recognised by the
CBD. The partnership receives support from GBIF.
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 www.itis.usda.gov).
The ITIS database is an automated reference of scientific
and common names of biota of interest to North America.
It contains more than 400,000 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
and an associate member of GBIF.
ITIS is managed by Michael Ruggiero (Director), Thomas
Orrell (Program Manager), David Nicolson (Data Development
Leader), Paula Huddleston (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 five directors and taxonomic database
organisations from around the world as members. It
is sponsored by CODATA, IUBS and IUMS; is an associate
member of GBIF; and is recognised by UNEP and the
CBD. There are two regional programmes: Species 2000
funded by the European Commission, working with global
and regional databases based in Europe; Species 2000
working to promote taxonomy and taxonomic databasing
in that region.
The Species 2000 scientific programme is led by its
Team (Karen L Wilson (Australia), Junko Shimura (Japan),
Frank A. Bisby (UK), Guy Baillargeon (Canada), Vanderlei
P. Canhos (Brazil), Michael A. Ruggiero (USA), Peter
H. Schalk (The Netherlands) & Richard J. White
(UK)) with further assistance from the Species 2000
europa Steering Group and the Species 2000 Asia-Oceania