An agreed list of all the species in the world is closer than ever thanks to this roadmap

An agreed list of all the world's species is closer than ever thanks to this roadmap

There is currently no single list of agreed species available . But this could soon change thanks to the roadmap for creating it published in a recent study in PLOS Biology .

In short, a list of all the species in the world, from mammals and birds to plants, fungi and microbes, to facilitate their registration and protection.


The study proposes a set of ten principles for creating and governing lists of the world’s species , and a proposed governance mechanism to ensure that the lists are well managed.

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As Kevin Thiele , Director of Taxonomy Australia and study co-author explains:

Importantly, it clearly defines the roles of taxonomists (the scientists who discover, name, and classify species) and stakeholders, such as conservationists, and government and international agencies. While taxonomists would have the final say on how to recognize and name species, the process ensures that the needs of stakeholders are taken into account when deciding between different taxonomic views.

The lack of an agreed list of all species also hampers researchers studying Earth’s biodiversity . With it, however, tasks for conservation purposes, international treaties, biosecurity and regulation of the trade in endangered species could be more effectively tackled.

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