Species 2000 is an autonomous federation of taxonomic database custodians, involving taxonomists throughout the world. Our goal is to collate a uniform and validated index to the world's known species (plants, animals, fungi and microbes). Species 2000 is registered as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee (registered in England No. 3479405)
Species 2000 began as a joint programme between CODATA (International Council for Science: Committee on Data for Science and Technology), IUBS (International Union of Biological Sciences) and the IUMS (International Union of Microbiological Societies) in the early 1990's. In 1996 eighteen taxonomic database organisations agreed to convert Species 2000 into a legal entity as the vehicle for developing the global Species 2000 programme. It is an associate participant in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility ( GBIF ); a data provider to EC LifeWatch ; and is recognised by the United Nations Environment Program ( UNEP ) and the Convention on Biological Diversity ( CBD ).
Species 2000 is a partner of the Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF) and works with their community on the construction of an authoritative taxonomic index of species: Catalogue of Life.
Species 2000 has a distributed Secretariat: the administrative office and staff are hosted and sponsored by Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Netherlands, the Editorial Office is hosted and sponsored by the Illinois Natural History Survey in the USA, and the Data managers are hosted by FIN (the FishBase Information and Research Group, Inc.) in the Philippines.
The Species 2000 and Integrated Taxonomic Information System ( ITIS ) product, the Catalogue of Life is the most comprehensive and authoritative global index of species currently available. It consists of a single integrated species checklist and taxonomic hierarchy. The Catalogue holds essential information on the names, relationships and distributions of over 1.6 million species. This figure continues to rise as information is compiled from diverse sources around the world. More information about the collaboration between Species 2000 and ITIS can be found under Organisation on the Catalogue of Life Website
Catalogue of Life, latest monthly edition
Catalogue of Life Annual Checklist
The Catalogue of Life 2019 Annual Checklist is only available online and no longer on dvd-rom as in earlier years since this medium is becoming obsolete. The Annual Checklist is also available as Darwin Core Archive.
The data infrastructure and production environment of the Catalogue of Life is currently being redeveloped in the context of the COL+ project. Focus during phase one of this development is on streamlining the ingestion and processing of data from providers to be included in the COL, as well as on enhancing the services to institutional users such as GBIF, EOL, BHL, BOLD, LifeWatch, DiSSCo and WFO. A second phase of the COL+ will focus on empowering the taxonomic community to feed data directly into the COL and be in control of that process.
Because of these developments the publication of online monthly editions is temporary suspended but is expected to be resumed as of August 2019. Till then the April 2019 checklist will be the most current version of the COL.
Downloadable ISO images and archived versions from earlier years are available from here,