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Catalogue of Life


Catalogue of Life

The Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life
Cover of DVD version of database
Web address
Commercial? no
Type of site Taxonomic catalogue
Registration not required
Available in English
Launched June 2001
Alexa rank negative increase 794,363 (April 2014)[1]
Current status active

The Catalogue of Life, started in June 2001 by Earth. The Catalogue currently compiles data from 115 peer-reviewed taxonomic databases, that are maintained by specialist institutions around the world.[2] The Catalogue provides a Dynamic Edition, which is updated regularly (and in which data can change without tracking of those changes) and an Annual Checklist, which provides a dated, verifiable reference for the usage of names and associated data. Development of the Catalogue of Life has been recently funded through the 4d4Life and i4Life projects.

The twelfth edition of the catalogue lists 1,404,038 species for all kingdoms as of May 2012, with coverage of 74% of the estimated 1.9 million species known to science.[2]


  • Structure 1
  • Usage 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6


The Catalogue of Life employs a simple data structure to provide information on synonymy, grouping within a taxonomic hierarchy, common names and distribution.[2]

Recently, the Catalogue of Life has included Life Science Identifiers (LSIDs) in its standard dataset.[2]


Much of the use of the Catalogue is to provide a backbone taxonomy for other global data portals. Through the i4Life project it has formal partnerships with Global Biodiversity Information Facility, European Nucleotide Archive, Encyclopedia of Life, European Consortium for the Barcode of Life, IUCN Red Data List, and Life Watch (EDIT). The public interface includes both search and browse functions as well as offering multi lingual services.

See also


  1. ^ " Site Info".  
  2. ^ a b c d "About the Catalogue of Life: 2012 Annual Checklist". Catalogue of Life.  

Further reading

  • Bisby FA, Roskov YR, Orrell TM, Nicolson D, Paglinawan LE, Bailly N, Kirk PM, Bourgoin T, Baillargeon G., eds (2009). Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2009 Annual Checklist. Digital resource at [1]. Species 2000: Reading, UK.
  • Blundell N (2005). There's more to life on Earth. Telegraph Online, 8 Dec 2005 (retrieved 2012-05-03).

External links

  • Catalogue of Life: Dynamic Checklist
  • 2014 Annual Checklist, 1,578,063 species
  • 2013 Annual Checklist, 1,352,112 species
  • 2012 Annual Checklist, 1,404,038 species
  • 2011 Annual Checklist, 1,347,224 species
  • 2010 Annual Checklist, 1,257,735 species
  • 2009 Annual Checklist, 1,160,711 species
  • 2008 Annual Checklist, 1,105,589 species
  • 2007 Annual Checklist, 1,008,965 species
  • 2006 Annual Checklist, 884,552 species
  • 2005 Annual Checklist, 526,323 species
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