Documenting the biological diversity of our planet is a challenging task. It implies information collection and organization of millions of species, their genetic diversity and their interactions in biological communities and ecosystems. It also implies coordination among multiple institutions and thousands of scientists, environmentalists, and professionals working with biodiversity.

In 2007, Dr. Edward O. Wilson’s speech as the recipient of the TED Prize potentiated the creation of the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL), an international effort to gather together all human knowledge of Earth’s biodiversity.  EOL’s mission is “to increase awareness and understanding of living nature through an encyclopedia that gathers, generates, and shares knowledge in an open, freely accessible, and trusted digital resource.”

The EOL website went public in February 2008 ( At present, there are more than 750,000 individual pages organized per species. The focus of the EOL is now to collect information relating to taxa of particular public interest, such as commercially valuable species, invasive organisms, disease agents or vectors, food sources, charismatic animals and plants, and newly discovered species. To set priorities, the EOL team has created the RedHotList, an inventory of taxa requiring the most urgent analysis and evaluation (approximately 2,700 taxa), including the 100 worst invasive species on Earth, and the most important food resources, among other groups of organisms.

If you want to know more about the Encyclopedia of Life, please visit their web page and became a member!