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Finding Species Information

Find factual information about particular plant and animal species.

General/Multiple Species

The Animal Diversity Web
Excellent website for information about various animal species. Sponsored by the University of Michigan, department of biology's Museum of Zoology. Includes many links to other websites.

APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service)
APHIS is "responsible for protecting and promoting US agricultural health, administering the Animal Welfare Act, and carrying out wildlife damage management activities" (About APHIS)

Census of Marine Life
The CML is a global network of researchers from more than 70 countries to assess, explore and explain "the diversity, distribution, and abundance of life in the ocean and explain how it changes over time." ( from About the Census of Marine Life) The research is slated to last 10 years and is expected to end in 2010. Information on this website is available in English, French, German and Japanese.

Department of Natural Resources - master list
The Fish and Wildlife Service has a webpage containing a master list of departments of natural resources across the country. Also included in the list are other local FWS agencies.

Ecology WWW Page
A webpage of many links to ecology sites arranged in alpha order. Sample sites: American Fern Society,, World Forest Watch. International in scope.
A for-profit website ownedby the National Wildlife Federation ( However, most of the information on the website is accessible for free. Good thumbnail colored photoes that can be enlarged. The website is user-friendly for non-scientists

Global Invasive Species Programme
Established in 1997 "to address global threats caused by Invasive Alien Species, and to provide support to the implementation of Article 8(h) of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the CBD." (What is GISP) The Secretariat is located in South Africa. The organization provides news, information about forthcoming meetings, government reports, planning documents, case studies, and other information.
A website developed and maintained by the National Agricultural Library for the National Invasive Species Council. Includes links to various species, news and events, and resources. There is a group of searchable databases arranged under 7 subject categories.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Resource & Conservation Management
Carries current information about DNR news, including a calendar of activities for the month. Other information includes a webpage to Resources & Conservation Management website.

National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII)
A part of the USGS Biological Informatics Program. Information is broken down into several categories, such as "Current Biological Issues", and "Biological Disciplines" (botany, fisheries, reptiles, amphibians, aquatic resources, genetic biodiversity) The website includes a searchable database

A non-profit conservation organization that represents "an international network of biological inventories known as natural heritage programs or conservation data centers…" Has a searchable database that offers up statistical information. Emphasis on rare and endangered species and threatened ecosystems.

SIRIS (Smithsonian Institution Research Information System)
The Specialized Research Bibliographies database contains some 15,500 citations specializing in cephalopods, marine mammals, history of the Smithsonian, as well as Museums Studies research. Searches lead to citations of articles, not the articles themselves.

Statistical Resources on the Web
A U of M Documents Center website. Contains a section on Agriculture and Environment.

Tree of Life Web Project
A collaborative effort by "biologists from around the world. The ToL project was originally designed for biologists. However, given the response of non-biologists to the project, including middle and high school students, we are encouraging authors to include information of interest to non-biologists." The website offers information about phylogeny and biodiversity of different organisms, and carries links to webpages of related information.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Contains information as well as links to many resources about the protection and conservation of fish, wildlife and plants, and their habitats. There is a website about endangered species as well. Note that the Search field does not necessarily yield hits for existing information.

U.S.G.S. Biology Resources
There's a great deal of information spread out over different programs and "resources" that require some digging around. Under the heading of Science, the USGS Biology Programs covers 8 subject and species categories, such as "Invasive Species Program". It also has a link to NBII (National Biological Information Infrastructure). Under the Science Center Locations, there is a map of regional offices across the country. Click on any area for more information.

Wildlife without Borders
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has developed three "partnership programs" with the cooperation of "other nations." Programs covered are Species, Global and Regional. FWS seeks to develop programs that will support conservation efforts, wildlife management training, and improve the coexistence of humans and wildlife.


BirdLife International
"... a global alliance of conservation organizations working together for the world's birds and people" (source: homepage). Offers news about all things pertaining to birds, and a searchable database of basic information. Under the link, Data Zone, bird species can be searched for by family, genus, species, common name, IUCN Red List category, among other features.

BirdNet, the Ornithological Information Source
A service of the Ornithological Council, a public information organization involving 10 North American professional ornithological societies. This is a webpage of links to bird webpages, societies, organizations, special interest groups. Though portions of the webpage have been updated as recently as June 2003, there are several dead links still listed.

UM Museum of Zoology, Birds Division
Contains information about the research collection of the Birds division and links to a few websites about birds. There's a well-illustrated section on bird anatomy. Includes links to bird information on the Animal Diversity Webpage

Crustaceans and Mollusks

A searchable database hosted by the University of Texas Medical Branch. There is data on the life history, distribution, catch and taxonomy "on all living species of cephalopods". Includes an image database of some 1521 images.

A searchable database of European marine mollusca. The database is taxonomically oriented, covering the area of the eastern Atlantic, mid-Atlantic, and the Mediterranean and Baltic seas. Not a comprehensive database. There is a backlog of older references.
Australian website that allows for the searching of "crustaceans of the world." There is the option of using the search feature or going to a page where there is a list of crustacea arranged by Order.

UM Museum of Zoology, Mollusk Division
The site is under construction, but still contains some useful information. The Cool Sites section has 4 categories of information: General Malacology, Freshwater Mollusks, Terrestrial Mollusks, and Marine Mollusks. There is also a section on recent publications from the Division.

Fish and Other Sea Creatures

American Fisheries Society
Founded in 1870, and considered the oldest professsional society representing fisheries scientists. The Resources/Links site and the Education site contain links to other websites, such as Fisheries/Natural Resources, which has links to related sites.

Developed at the World Fish Center in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and other partners, and with support from the European Commission. Searchable database.

Fisheries Research Library
The Digital Library Production Service (DLPS) has joined with the Michigan Fisheries Division Library to offer access to the Fisheries Research Library. There are approximately 1,900 reports currently online. The Fisheries Research Library is fully searchable and freely available to the public.

NOAA Fisheries
A division within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. A webpage primarily of links, including links to websites about endangered species and commercial fisheries.

UM Museum of Zoology, Fish Division
There's an online searchable catalog of the division as well as links to other online databases about fish. There is also a short list of Fish division publications

Insects and Arachnids
This is a graphics-heavy website that offers basic, user-friendly information about insects. It has a few links to societies, organizations, university departments, museums that have an interest in insects.

International Society of Arachnology
Contains an index of arachnids by order, which includes common names, illustrations and "special spider pages." There is also an "Arachnids by Subject" webpage that has links to other sources of information.

UM Museum of Zoology, Insects Division
Some of the information on this webpage include the MES Publications' Entomology Notes, taxonomic holdings, a pictures archive and links to other websites. A small part of the division's collection of specimens has been cataloged into databases as lists of species.


The Mammal Society
Provides some basic information on the current population and conservation status of British mammals, along with some educational materials and advocacy resources.

Mammal Species of the World
Produced by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History and the American Society of Mammalogists, the website "can be used as a convenient on-line reference for identifying or verifying recognized scientific names and for taxonomic research."


Center for Plant Conservation
The CPC is "dedicated solely to preventing the extinction of U.S. native plants." It is a network of over 30 botanical institutions, and maintains the National Collection of Endangered Plants. The website has links to participating institutions, news, plant websites.

Forest Conservation Portal
The website began as a PhD research project and was formerly known as, Inc. Currently, it's a project of Ecological Internet, Inc., a webpage of links and news about forest conservation. There is a search engine that allows for broad search terms, such as "rainforests", or "logging" in 2 categories, Internet and archive. (World Rainforest Information Portal)
Created by the Rainforest Action Network, this webpage is a source of information about the world's rainforests by linking to other websites. Covers various aspects of rainforests, from animals to plants, to rainforest destruction.

University of Michigan, Herbarium
Includes extensive links to other websites on plant, nomenclature, and mycology resources, and more. Also contains links to other herbaria and museums.

Reptiles and Amphibians

Center for North American Herpetology
A non-profit organization promoting the study of amphibians, reptiles, crocodiles and turtles. Includes links to other herpetology websites, news, upcoming meetings, publications and a searchable, but not comprehensive, database.

This website was created in conjunction with the UC Berkeley Digital Library Project. It offers online retrieval of information on amphibian biology and conservation. You can search by Genus, Species, Vernacular Name, Family, Order, and Country. Results give basic information and a brief list of references.

DAPTF (Declining Amphibian Populations Task Force)
"The DAPTF was established in 1991 by the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the World Conservation Union (IUCN)." The Latest News portion of the website includes references to publications in the field of amphibian populations. There is also a link to the website's newsletter, FrogLog.

The New Reptile Database
"This database is intended to provide information on the classification of all living reptiles by listing all species and their pertinent higher taxa. The database therefore covers all living snakes, lizards, turtles, amphisbaenians, tuataras, and crocodiles. It is supposed to be a source of taxonomic data, thus providing primarily (scientific) names, synonyms, distributions and related data." (source: FAQ)

UM Museum of Zoology, Division of Reptiles and Amphibians
There's a history of the division, plus links to other herpetology websites. The Maps of Michigan Reptiles and Amphibians contains actual specimen data, and includes a map and photo, as well as call and status if applicable. Unfortunately the webpage hasn't been updated since 2000.

Endangered and Threatened Species

Animal Info - Information on Rare, Threatened and Endangered Mammals
Searchable website, though the indexing is not very logical. Includes links to other websites, organizations and pubications.

Center for Applied Biodiversity Science
CABS supports Conservation International in identifying and responding to "elements that threaten the earth's biological diversity." It enlists the expertise of scientists in collecting and interpreting data, and develop strategic plans for conservation.

CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)
Created at am IUCN meeting in 1963 for the purpose of ensuring that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Membership is voluntary. The website covers the activities of CITES, with links to other resources and official documents.

Conservation International
A U.S. based organization created to "conserve the Earth's living heritage..." CI works in over 40 countries to support plant and animal diversity.

EE Link: Endangered Species
EE-Link is a participant in the Environmental Education and Training Partnership of the North American Association for Environmental Education, with support from the Environmental Protection Agency. The Endangered Species site includes links about U.S. policy and treaties.

IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature)
Also know as the World Conservation Union. IUCN is considered the world's largest conservation-related organization. The website contains information about programs, events and publications. The next 3 webpages are related to the IUCN.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants
Searchable database. "The vast majority of plant taxa listed in the 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants have not yet been evaluated against the revised Red List Criteria, and are therefore not included here. To find out the conservation status of plants, users must search both (the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species database) and the UNEP-WCMC Threatened Plants database."

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Provides taxonomic, conservation status and distribution information on taxa using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Note that only birds and mammals have been comprehensively assessed; "the vast majority of plant taxa listed in the 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants have not yet been evaluated against the revised Red List Criteria, and are therefore not included here. To find out the conservation status of plants, users must search both this database and the UNEP-WCMC Threatened Plants database." (source:

NOAA Fisheries
Detailed information, including maps, Federal Register notices and listing status of the following salmon: Chinook, Chum, Coho, Pink, Sockye, Steelhead, as well as information about marine fishes and Green Sturgeon.

UNEP - WCMC (United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre)
A multi-faceted webpage that includes news, international policies and agreements, publications, and a species database. UNEP-WCMC also addresses the relationship between trade and the environment. See also Project Proteus, an environmental information service coordinated by UNEP's Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA).

USDA Forest Service, Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air and Rare Plants
A webpage from the US Forest Service homepage. Also includes information about threatened and endangered species.

World Conservation Union (IUCN)
Also known as International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). See entry above.