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Accession Number 5002944

Title Snake species of the world - a taxonomic and geographical reference

Project Description The ability to inventory species in many parts of the world, and even within the Western

Hemisphere, often is hampered by a lack of published summaries of the scientific and taxonomic

literature, and other information on components of those faunas. Understanding what species of

amphibians and reptiles occur where often is integral to proper planning for their conservation and

management, and for evaluation of areas and habitats subject to commercial exploitation. Too

often, information on these important vertebrate groups is dispersed through a highly technical

literature and remains poorly reviewed in many geographic areas of the world. The National

Museum of Natural History is a leader in the field of taxonomic, evolutionary, and biogeographic

studies and is in a position to contribute in a major way towards establishing the taxonomic

underpinnings so necessary to understanding biodiversity on a world scale. The compilation of

Amphibian Species of the World (Frost, 1985) has greatly advanced our ability to consider

amphibians in broader studies of ecology and biodiversity, and similar summaries are needed for

other groups. The last comprehensive work on snakes was published in 1896. The published

results of this project will include a thorough review and compilation of pertinent taxonomic

literature on snakes in a three-volume work titled Snake Species of the World; they will serve as

companion volumes to that on amphibians. These volumes represent coverage of an important

group of vertebrates and constitute a crucial and baseline reference for ongoing studies of

vertebrate communities, biodiversity, and ecosystem management.

Keywords biodiversity, geographic distribution, nomenclature, snake classification, snake species,

taxonomy, world,

Principal Roy McDiarmid, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center:; Jonathan

Investigators A Campbell, University of Texas at Arlington:; T'Shaka A TourT, Smithsonian

Institution, National Museum of Natural History:;

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