About the current COL Checklist

Asplenium trichomanes L. - Photo CC By Markus Döring


This is version 2020-12-01 of the COL Checklist.


The Catalogue of Life (CoL) is an assembly of expert-based global species checklists with an aim to build a comprehensive catalogue of all known species of organisms on Earth. Continuous progress is made towards completion, but for now, it probably includes just over 80% of the world’s known species. The Catalogue of Life estimates 2.2M extant species on the planet recognised by taxonomists at present time. This means that for many groups it continues to be deficient, and users may notice that many species are still missing from the Catalogue. Only ITIS checklists have been updated in this edition of the Catalogue of Life.


Editors of the COL Checklist are:

  • Yuri Roskov
  • Geoff Ower
  • Thomas Orrell
  • David Nicolson
  • Nicolas Bailly
  • Paul M. Kirk
  • Thierry Bourgoin
  • R. Edward DeWalt
  • W. Decock
  • Erik J. van Nieukerken
  • Lyubomir Penev


  • Species 2000

Roskov Y., Ower G., Orrell T., Nicolson D., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., DeWalt R.E., Decock W., van Nieukerken E.J., Penev L. (eds.) (2020). Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life, 2020-12-01. Digital resource at Species 2000: Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands. ISSN 2405-8858.

Please also read the recommended citations for individual datasets contributing to the COL Checklist.

Data Downloads

You can download this version of the COL checklist either as a

For other versions please see the COL downloads site.