Species lists

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Information about species is important. Knowing what species exist, where and how they live, how they grow and interact, helps us understand patterns of change, and provides better knowledge of how to change our behaviour to support our fragile biodiversity.

[1]Scientists have so far described an estimated 1.8 million species of animals, plants, fungi and other organisms. Millions more are believed to exist. Their interactions ensure functioning ecosystems in oceans, freshwater and on land. Many of these may disappear before they have even been named, as climate change, land-use change and other factors take their toll.

[2]There exist already some “Global Species Information Systems". A “Global Species Information System” aims at gathering and making available information on all known species on earth and which serves as a tool for information and awareness raising for the wider public as well as for enhanced scientific cooperation.

An overview of some species lists:

Global initiatives for species lists


Marine and terrestrial:

European initiatives for species lists


Marine and terrestrial:

Regional marine initiatives for species lists


Species-specific initiatives for species lists



Other initiatives for species lists

Information pages by aggregating all known data about every living species

Marine and terrestrial

Systems for biogeographic information on marine organisms


Systems for global biodiversity information

Marine and terrestrial:


  1. http://ec.europa.eu/research/iscp/index.cfm?lg=en&pg=global_species_is_bio
  2. http://www.g7.utoronto.ca/environment/env070317-potsdam.htm
The main author of this article is Claus, Simon
Please note that others may also have edited the contents of this article.

Citation: Claus, Simon (2008): Species lists. Available from http://www.coastalwiki.org/wiki/Species_lists [accessed on 17-07-2019]