Experts believe that roughly one in five species in Norway remains to be discovered. The Norwegian Taxonomy Initiative helps fill these knowledge gaps by funding inventories to map locations of known species and find unknown species. It is also an important player in building national knowledge and expertise in biosystematics and DNA barcoding.

The Norwegian Taxonomy Initiative ensures that information about Norway’s biological diversity is collected over the long term, with a special emphasis on lesser well-known species.

The project was established by the Ministry of Environment in 2009, and is an important component in efforts to increase the fundamental knowledge needed to manage Norway’s biodiversity.

National expertise and international cooperation

The Initiative also contributes to the development of national expertise in biosystematics through its work with the country’s Research School in Biosystematics, and with the DNA barcoding of species, through its involvement with the Norwegian Barcode of Life project (NorBOL).

The inventories and studies conducted through the Taxonomy Initiative provide new and fundamental knowledge of Norway’s biodiversity, which is needed to better understand the complex interactions of nature.

The Norwegian and Swedish governments have also signed a memorandum of understanding on working cooperatively to increase the collective knowledge on poorly known species in the two countries.

Key species - and new species

The Initiative also gives scientists a better understanding of the species groups that play key roles in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems.

It also enables us to find and identify species that have never before been found in Norway, or find species that were thought to have disappeared from the country, and to find species that are completely new to science.

The large-scale hunt for species also gives us more knowledge about the Norwegian natural environment and where in the country the more familiar species are found.

Openly available information

The knowledge gathered via the Taxonomy Initiative is made available to the community, in collaboration with the researchers behind the inventories.

The Norwegian Taxonomy Initiative is coordinated by the Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre. Funding for inventories of poorly known species groups are announced yearly.