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article imageNorway attempts to catalog every species

By Tim Sandle     Dec 30, 2013 in Environment
In 2009 Norway announced that it was setting out to catalog every species contained within its borders. To date this had led to over 1,000 new species being discovered.
Termed the ‘Norwegian Taxonomy Initiative’, the venture to find and list every species within Norway was initiated by the Norwegian government. The project is focused on describing poorly known species groups across the country's varied habitats, from its alpine plateaus to the northernmost reaches of the island archipelago of Spitsbergen.
In relation to ‘new finds’ some 1,165 species have been identified. The finds range from new species of insects and lichens to new species of molluscs and cold-water sponges. The biggest discoveries have been made in the major species-rich groups where previous knowledge has been poor -- including in the groups that include wasps, flies and mosquitoes.
In terms of the seas, some of the biggest discoveries have been made in the major species-rich groups where previous knowledge has been poor -- including in the groups that include wasps, flies and mosquitoes.
The identification of new species has been advanced with DNA barcoding technologies and using vast reference libraries.
There is more work to do, however. Scientists believe that there are roughly 55,000 species in Norway, but until now only 41,000 have been discovered. The 1165 new species discovered by the taxonomy initiative over the last four years are thus an important addition to this number.
More about Norway, Index, Catalog, Review, Endangered species
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