Champaign, IL, March 26, 2007.—Being a contributor to the One Million Species Catalogue of Life is no small recognition. But, contributing 23,000 species to the catalogue, well, that's huge! Dr. David C. Eades of the Illinois Natural History Survey on the University of Illinois, Urbana campus, gets to claim that distinction. Eades, along with his partners Daniel Otte of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and Piotr Naskrecki of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University are the developers of the Orthoptera Species Online database (http://osf2.orthoptera.org), one of only 50 contributing databases from across the globe currently contributing to the project.
The One Million Species Catalogue of Life project is led by Professor Frank Bisby of the Species 2000 organization at the University of Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom and Dr. Thomas Orrell of the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) based in Washington DC at the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History. One goal of the project seeks to provide a historical accounting of all known and validated species in one centralized, electronic and searchable source. But more importantly, the project seeks to provide a global resource impacting conservation and biodiversity for future generations and global implications.
The project leaders and some of the 3,000 participating biologists are convening in Reading England on March 29, 2007 to commemorate the one-millionth species being logged and to strategize the next steps in completing the catalogue of the world's organisms. Currently the catalogue covers species ranging from plants to animals and from fungi to viruses. Biologists plan to document an additional three quarter of a million species by 2011 but estimate that an additional 3 million to 12 million more species on the planet are to yet be identified.
The Catalogue of Life is currently available on CD and the Internet at www.catalogueoflife.org and is free of charge.