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  Taxonomic changes and additions

The scientific and common names which are used in the Conservation Needs Assessment software are derived from a combination of the IUCN Red List and the AmphibiaWeb database. These are the two main taxonomic references that form the basis of the names in our database.

However, taxonomy is a very dynamic field of study and it is likely that some of the scientific and common names in the current database might change in the future. The development of molecular phylogenetics, focusing on hereditary molecular differences, mainly in DNA sequences, is shedding new light on evolutionary relationships between species. This relatively new line of taxonomic research has driven many recent revisions and is likely to continue doing so. Genus names change as further research is undertaken and species can be lumped or split according to new findings.

A potential issue is the existence of one or more synonyms for the same species: over time one amphibian species may have received different names. The former scientific name has been displaced by another scientific name, which is now regarded as correct. This change might have been made recently, so it is possible that for one species several synonyms are in circulation and being used at any given time.

Fortunately we also see the discovery of many new amphibian species every year. In fact, since the creation of AmphibiaWeb some 25 years ago the total number of known amphibian species has increased spectacularly from 4,000 to over 7,000 species. In average, that equates to a staggering new species every two and a half days.

Unfortunately, Amphibian Ark doesn’t have the necessary resources to stay on top of new species names, changes to genera etc. and often we find that local amphibian experts know one or several new species that aren't yet included in the Red List or AmphibiaWeb. We recognize that it is important to include all species in our database, along with the most current species names, so we will add or update anything that is brought to our attention.

So, if you would find any errors or omissions in our species list, we kindly ask you to send us an email to ConservationNeeds@amphibianark.org indicating in the subject line that you would like a change made to the species database, and send us the proposed change or addition. Please also include a link to a valid reference document, so we can verify the update.

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