Integrated Taxonomic Information System - Background Information
The White House Subcommittee on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics has
identified systematics as a research priority that is fundamental to ecosystem
management and biodiversity conservation. This primary need identified
by the Subcommittee requires improvements in the organization of, and
access to, standardized nomenclature. ITIS (originally referred to as
the Interagency Taxonomic Information System) was designed to
fulfill these requirements. In the future, the ITIS will provide taxonomic
data and a directory of taxonomic expertise that will support the system.
The goal is to create an easily accessible database with reliable information
on species names and their hierarchical classification. The database will
be reviewed periodically to ensure high quality with valid classifications,
revisions, and additions of newly described species. The ITIS includes
documented taxonomic information of flora and fauna from both aquatic
and terrestrial habitats.
These agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding
and have formed a Steering Committee that directs two technical work groups
- the Database Work Group (DWG) and the Taxonomy Work Group (TWG). The
DWG is responsible for the database design and overseeing development
of the system to meet the requirements of the ITIS partners. The TWG is
responsible for the quality and integrity of the database information.
In addition to the database, the working groups have created "Taxonomic
Workbench" software designed for easy entry and manipulation
of taxonomic data.
Please direct any questions you may have to the ITIS team at firstname.lastname@example.org .