Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory

Australian Faunal Directory: Processes and Governance

The Australian Faunal Directory (AFD) provides authoritative nomenclature and taxonomy for known animal and protist species recorded in Australia and its territories. Through ongoing curation, it provides the current valid name for each species as accepted by the scientific community, as well as synonyms, classification schemes, references, occurrence data and a record of changes in taxonomy over time.

A rigorous, curated database that provides the correct scientific name for organisms is essential to facilitate a clear understanding of Australian taxa and inform a range of government, research, and industry sectors. As the widely accepted list of Australian animal names, the AFD guides decision-making across government and other sectors, including for efforts in conservation (e.g., threatened species listings and management plans), research (e.g., taxonomy and systematics), biosecurity (e.g., diagnostics and response to exotic pests and disease) and policy development (e.g., wildlife trade permits). The AFD provides the authoritative Australian faunal species names used as the foundation for the Atlas of Living Australia, which is important for many aspects of biological collections management, research, and citizen science.

The AFD uses the most recent and reliable published data to support all the names presented. We do this by:

Consultation with the taxonomic research community is a key part of ensuring the data presented in the AFD are current and reliable. AFD staff work with relevant expert taxonomists and consult closely with the peak body for faunal collections and research in Australia, the Council of Heads of Australian Faunal Collections (CHAFC), to determine consensus on more complex taxonomic works, especially those that may impact decision-making processes.

In accordance with the AFD Governance model above, we follow the taxonomic lists agreed upon by the Australian Society of Herpetologists (ASH) for the groups Reptilia and Amphibia, and the Australasian Mammal Taxonomy Consortium (AMTC) for the Mammalia. These lists represent consensus among taxonomists working in these groups. The AFD lists for reptiles, amphibians and mammals are updated when the respective societies publish updates or revisions to their lists.

Links to these lists can be found below:

Australian Society of Herpetologists Official List of Australian Species

Australasian Mammal Taxonomy ConsortiumSpecies List