New Website with World Mammal List

The American Society of Mammalogists has sponsored a new Mammal Diversity Database. It intends to collate new species as they are published into a frequently-updated master list. As published now, they give a world total of 6,495 species.

The site is free and open to the public.

The address is

The site is not fully built out — I couldn’t download a pdf of the world list, and I see that for New World chipmunks, the common names were all missing — but I assume functionality will improve with time.

Their choices seem a bit splitty, but maybe that suits your own tastes — and it is the academic trend, in any case. Nobody will get fast-tracked for tenure as a lumper. (I can say that since I am a tenure chair of a biology committee.) If you like the HWM taxonomy, you will like this. If you don’t like it, make your own (as at least one member of this community is currently doing). Since my own list is an uncollated mess of trip reports and journal entries and hand-written notes, I suppose even the splitiest of lists would be superior to my current method.

Your list is just a number anyway. (Unless you are Jon Hall, in which case your list is Mt. Everest and the rest of us are just mucking about at the bottom of Mt. Snowdon.)

Charles Hood, Palmdale, CA


  • Vladimir Dinets

    Accepting all splits is a slippery slope. You can spend the best thirty years of your life and all your inheritance chasing titi monkeys around the Amazon, only to see them all lumped as soon as a science-based review of the genus gets published…
    I’m pretty sure I have longer list than Jon, but I started much earlier (my first life list was written in pencil to avoid ink blots). At present rate he should catch up with me in a decade or two, I guess.

  • CharlesHood

    Vladimir, in pen, pencil, or sidewalk chalk, your list is not Mt. Everest but rather K2 — steeper, wilder, more elegantly shaped. I have known Jon Hall to drink a beer in the middle of the day when he could have been doing press-ups (or memorizing Myotis taxonomy). In comparison to that approach, Vladimir (for those here who’ve not met him) reminds me of my film hero Werner Herzog. He runs an informal film school out of his home sometimes, but rather than lecturing on aspect ratio in cinematography or how to find the right production designer, he teaches his pupils how to pick locks and forge shooting permits. He himself had enrolled in film school only long enough to steal a camera, with which he made his first four films.

  • Vladimir Dinets

    Actually, I’m a lot more law-obedient now than I used to be. It’s been more than a year since the last time I crossed a border illegally. My life of crime nowadays is mostly about sci-hubbing research papers.

  • Andrew Block

    I don’t care if they lump or split, I just wish they’d make up their mind! As with birds they seem to always be lumping one thing or splitting another. I find it very annoying, but I guess that’s they way it is now. I use HMW, HBW, and Clements for my mammal and bird lists. HBW I use for world birds.

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