Mammal Biodiversity



  • B. R. Costelloe
  • J. A. Esselstyn
  • P. H. Fabre
  • A.W. Ferguson
  • D.G. Huckaby
  • B. Kohli
  • S. P. Maher
  • M. McDonough
  • R. W. Norris
  • B.D. Patterson
  • N. Pradhan
  • D. M. Reeder
  • L. Ruedas
  • B. P. Tannis

History and Mission

The Checklist Committee was established by the Board of Directors in 1980 to provide advice on Mammal Species of the World, edited by J. H. Honacki et al. (1982) and published by Allen Press and the Association for Systematics Collections. ASM and the Checklist Committee assumed responsibility for maintenance of this database and its periodic revisions in electronic and text versions. The second edition (1993) and third edition (2005) were edited by D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder.

Forthcoming Responsibilities

Committee being repurposed to better reflect its activities. A name change is pending.

Former Responsibilities

The Checklist Committee was charged with compiling and updating the publication, Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Current authors for Mammal Species of the World made up the checklist committee. Mammal Species of the World contains the following information for each species: scientific name, author(s) & original citation, type locality, distribution, synonyms, and a comments field with important references and remarks.

Beginning with the third edition (Wilson & Reeder, 2005), Mammal Species of the World includes:

  • Common names
  • Authorities for synonyms
  • The recognition of subspecies.

An extensive bibliography (~9400 references) and an index of scientific names (~32,000 valid names and synonyms) are also to be found. The third edition recognizes 5416 species, including 260 newly described species (between 1993 and the end of 2003), and is currently available online at Bucknell University at: This fully searchable and downloadable database went online summer 2007. The Bucknell MSW3 database was replaced by a newer version at Smithsonian Institution in 2008. The checklist committee updated the MSW3 database (and accompanying website) roughly bi-annually.

The citation for the third edition is:

Don E. Wilson & DeeAnn M. Reeder (editors). 2005. Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed), Johns Hopkins University Press, 2,142 pp. (Available from Johns Hopkins University Press, 1-800-537-5487 or (410) 516-6900

The online database and more information on this project can be found at:

  • B. P. Tanis