Catalogue of Life

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The Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life
Catalogue of Life - 2017 Annual Checklist DVD booklet cover (AC 17).png
Cover of DVD version of database
Type of site
Taxonomic catalogue
Available in English
Alexa rank Negative increase 672,656 (Feb 2015)[1]
Commercial no
Registration not required
Launched June 2001
Current status active

The Catalogue of Life, started in June 2001 by Species 2000 and Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), is planned to become a comprehensive catalogue of all known species of organisms on Earth. The Catalogue currently compiles data from 156 peer-reviewed taxonomic databases, that are maintained by specialist institutions around the world.[2] The Catalogue provides a dynamic edition,[3] which is updated monthly (and in which data can change without tracking of those changes) and an Annual Checklist,[4] which provides a dated, verifiable reference for the usage of names and associated data. Development of the Catalogue of Life was funded through the Species 2000 europa (EuroCat),[5] 4d4Life,[6] i4Life[7] projects in 2003-2013, and currently by the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, the Netherlands and Species Files group at Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign-Urbana IL, USA.

The seventeenth edition of the catalogue lists 1.7 million extant and extinct species for all kingdoms as of April 2017, with coverage of well over three quarters of the estimated 1.9 million extant species known to science.[2]


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


Much of the use of the Catalogue is to provide a backbone taxonomy for other global data portals and biological collections. 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 List, and Life Watch. The public interface includes both search and browse functions as well as offering multi lingual services.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  2. ^ a b c "About the Catalogue of Life: 2017 Annual Checklist". Catalogue of Life. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  3. ^ "Catalogue of Life - 30th October 2017 : Search all names". 
  4. ^ "Catalogue of Life - 2017 Annual Checklist : Search all names". 
  5. ^ "Species 2000 europa - Welcome to Species 2000 europa". 3 February 2008. Archived from the original on 3 February 2008. 
  6. ^ Admin. "Home - 4D4Life". 
  7. ^ "i4life: Indexing For Life". 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]