Welcome to the Catalogue of Life website. The gateway to our online database of the world's known species of animals, plants, fungi and micro-organisms.
There are two distinct versions of the Catalogue of Life: the Dynamic Checklist and the Annual Checklist. Choose the version most suited to your needs.
The Annual Checklist is a snapshot of the entire Catalogue of Life: a fixed imprint. If you quote an organism from this version, others will be able to turn to that same reference - at any point in the future. All editions of the Annual Checklist to date are available online, and deposited in libraries around the world. Partner programmes, that link online to the Catalogue of Life, will reference the Annual Checklist.
Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) enables free and open access to biodiversity data online.
Encyclopedia of Life
The EoL uses the CoL Annual Checklist as its taxonomic backbone.
The IUCN Redlist is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species.
Dictionary of Natural Products
The Catalogue of Life has been used to support commercial products.
Tools and Resources
Learn to operate the search and browse interface and how to interpret results.
When using the Catalogue of Life in your own system we ask that you abide by a few conditions.
Read about some of the 1.4m+ species in CoL
Many projects rely on the Catalogue of Life for their species backbone. We work with global partners to improve the quality of biodiversity data worldwide.
Annual Checklist Archive
Access past editions online or download to your own computer.
Web Browser & Page Plugin
Access the Catalogue from your browser toolbar. One click installation or code snippet available.
List Matching Service
Compare your species list with the whole of the Catalogue of Life.
Let your software speak to our server and access the Catalogue of Life programmatically.