The present Catalogue of Life Programme, led by the global Species 2000 organisation based at the University of Reading, UK, and working with the North American organisation Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), was set up as an international programme at a UK-funded (BBSRC) workshop in 2001. Bringing the programme up to production scale was funded by the EC as one of its scientific infrastructures (EuroCat), with further funding by the Japanese Government, the US Government (through ITIS) and GBIF.
The Catalogue of Life has a single purpose, to enable users throughout biological and biodiversity sciences, and across the many scientific and non-scientific disciplines that use organism information, to access data about all organisms by means of a species checklist and a taxonomic hierarchy.
Output of the Catalogue of Life Programme is via:
The Catalogue of Life Annual Checklists – released yearly
Last release – 2012: assembly of 115 taxonomic databases and 1,404,038 species.
The Dynamic Checklist – released around the year
Last release in December 2012 – access to 118 taxonomic databases and 1,323,005 species
Please note that database coverage differs between the Dynamic and the Annual Checklists.