Wildlife Insights Global Taxonomy
We created the WI Taxonomy because we needed a global standard of what we call things (wildlife, objects, humans, etc) in every project, every image, every video (soon!) every acoustic file (soon!) from around the world. Without standardizing taxonomy through Wildlife Insights it would be impossible (or at least really hard) to manage and analyze data from within large wildlife monitoring projects and across several projects. In a global platform like Wildlife Insights standardization becomes even more important when datasets are coming from all over the world and from many, many organizations and individuals. We leverage existing standards as best we can and will provide mappings into as many standards as possible.
Mammals: The WI taxonomy uses a combination of the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species and the American Society of Mammalogists Mammal Diversity Database.
Birdlife: We use Birdlife International's taxonomy.
Everything else: We also have names for other taxa (reptiles,insects, etc), domestic species, non-animals (car, motorcycle,etc), names for higher taxonomic ranks when animals can't be identified to species and have various classes to describe types of humans (park ranger, tourist, etc).
The WI taxonomy will continue to grow and evolve over time. If you have questions about the taxonomy please email us at [email protected].
The Wildlife Insights Taxonomy Bulk Search is a great resource that lets you enter the taxonomy you used and find the matching Wildlife Insights taxonomy information.
Visit our Taxonomy Github repository and download the WI_Taxonomy.R file to access the most current version of the Wildlife Insights Taxonomy. It will create an R dataframe and also write out a .csv file.
You can identify species by the common domestic name and Wildlife Insights will store the identification using both the scientific and common name. For example, if you want to tag an animal as "Canis lupus familiaris" or "Domestic Dog", you can search for and select "Domestic Dog" and we will store the scientific name "Canis lupus familiaris" in our database.
In some cases, scientific names change over time. For example, the scientific name Genetta tigrina now only refers to species in Southern Africa instead of all of Eastern Africa more broadly. If a data provider with data from Eastern Africa used the tag Genetta tigrina in the past, but now would like to tag those images using the new scientific name Genetta maculata, they could use the species filter to search for Genetta tigrina, then select all of the relevant images by clicking on the circle that appears on the top left hand corner of an image in thumbnail view. To change the identification of all the selected images, they would use the green bar at the bottom of the page to select Genetta maculata.