specimens barcoded:  19862
species barcoded:  858
unnamed barcode  
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Welcome to the Mammal Barcode of Life campaign website. Being part of the larger effort encompassing all vertebrates, this campaign aims to build a comprehensive reference library of DNA barcodes for the global mammal fauna. While being one of the most extensively studied groups of living organisms, mammals still pose a diverse array of taxonomic challenges and new species are continually being described. DNA barcoding promises to aid in advancing species discovery and broad dissemination of taxonomic knowledge by providing a framework for a first-pass taxonomic screening of mammal diversity using a single standardized gene marker - the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene. Nearly 5500 extant mammalian species are currently recognized, and it will be impossible to achieve our ambitious goal without active involvement of many institutions and experts worldwide. Therefore the campaign seeks to assemble a broad global coalition of leading researchers, museums, and other institutions with interest in mammal taxonomy and biodiversity.

This campaign website is intended to facilitate online collaboration of mammalogists interested in using DNA barcoding in their research and to help them to coordinate their efforts in building the global reference library of DNA barcodes for mammals. It is intended to provide the following services to the mammal barcoding community:

  • Outline the main directions of research and provide information on experts involved in these projects
  • Provide real-time reports on the status of taxonomic coverage attained
  • Provide updates on the latest publications related to mammal DNA barcoding, with particular focus on taxonomic revisions and descriptions of new taxa
  • Maintain a source of concurrent information on the methodological aspects of DNA barcoding and guidelines on best practices for sample and data collection
  • Serve as a communication platform accessible to all people interested in mammals, including taxonomists, ecologists, bio-monitoring experts, conservation officials, and amateur naturalists

iBOL Overview
iBOL - The International Barcode of Life project. This proposed International Consortium Initiative will oversee the assembly of DNA barcodes for 5M sequences and 500K species by 2014. The vertebrate working group (WG 1.1) will aim to assemble a comprehensive library of DNA barcodes for all 55K vertebrate species, including 30K fishes, 5K amphibians, 5K reptiles, 10K birds and 5K mammals.  Because vertebrates are among the largest of animals, their population sizes are small and they are at particular risk of extinction. Aside from conservation concerns, many vertebrates are of major economic importance because of their role in supporting commercial and recreational activities (e.g. fisheries). Despite the high human interest, species identifications remain problematic for many groups. The connection of larval and adult forms of some vertebrates (fishes and amphibians) is regularly problematic. By gathering barcode records for all species of vertebrates, iBOL will provide solutions to such uncertainty.

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