New paper in Organisms Diversity & Evolution


Towards a global list of accepted species II. Consequences of inadequate taxonomic list governance

Thomson SA, Thiele K, Conix S, Christidis L, Costello MJ, Hobern D, Nikolaeva S, Pyle RL, van Dijk PP,  Weaver H, Zachos FE, Zhang ZQ & Garnett ST. 2021
Org Divers Evol 21, 623–630 (2021). Link. Published online 16 October 2021


Species lists are widely used in legislation and regulation to manage and conserve biodiversity. In this paper, we explore the issues caused by the lack of an adequately governed and universally accepted list of the world’s species. These include lack of quality control, duplicated effort, conflicts of interest, lack of currency, and confusion in the scientific use of taxonomic information. If species lists are to fulfill their role efficiently, then the governance systems underlying their creation must keep pace. Fortunately, modernization of species list governance is now possible as a result of advances in biodiversity informatics and two decades of experience working to create the backbone of a global species list.