Natural Resources Information Council

Friday, July 22, 2005

Hot site: Wikispecies

Along with the other wiki sites now existing on the web, Wikipedia has begun a sister project called Wikispecies to create webpages for all known species. These pages are all related taxonomically as well as being searchable. I didn't have much luck with the search engine, but was able to navigate the taxonomic structure pretty well.

How does this relate to other projects?
The Tree of Life is solely authored by approved scientists for actual species accounts.

Find a Fish is solely for fishes and seems to be limited to Australian species.

BirdLife International hosts a worldwide listing of bird species. However, searching for goldfinch and starling under common name yielded 0 results.

There are many other sites that are regional in nature so that they are limited to small numbers of species. However, Wikispecies and Tree of Life seem to be on par with each other. The difference being that anyone can add, comment, edit the Wikispecies accounts and Tree of Life is limited to approved scientists. Tree of Life also has sections called Treehouse for educators as well as images and other media to support the species accounts. Wikispecies sometimes has pictures and multiple languages. This additional information depends on the contributor and available information.

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