Annual Meeting of Taxonomists to Focus on Vulnerability of Species

Published 13.05.2019

On 1516 May 2019, for the first time, Tartu will host an annual meeting of the Governing Board of CETAF, the Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities. The 45th meeting will bring to Tartu the heads of more than 50 natural history museums and botanical gardens, who will discuss the vulnerability of species and the importance of open data for preservation of biodiversity.

An introduction to CETAF meeting will be provided by the first Estonian taxonomy day – a symposium which will take place on 14 May, the eve of the meeting of the Governing Board. The morning session of the day will be held in Estonian and will provide an overview of the species found in Estonia and of their vulnerability. The English-language international afternoon session will focus on dissemination of biodiversity data. The session will be webcast and can be followed in real time and on demand from anywhere in the world.

“Large-scale extinction of species due to human activity will certainly have an impact on Estonia. Species are disappearing around us, yet we often do not notice it because we do not even know many of the species that inhabit our territory,” explains Urmas Kõljalg, Director of UT Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden, stressing the importance of holding the symposium.

Beside European leading taxonomists who will also participate in the CETAF meeting, Estonia’s first taxonomy day will include Estonian specialists of the field of conducting research on species and creating digital and physical collections of the species. “On the basis of the data gathered, Estonian researchers will soon start providing regular surveys of species living in Estonia. It is also in the interest of humans to pay attention to the more than 30,000 species whom we know to exist in Estonia, let alone those whom we do not yet know or notice,” said Kõljalg.

The First Taxonomy Day of Estonia: less researched and vulnerable species will be held from 10am to 6pm on 14 May 2019 at the University of Tartu Library and is organized by the Estonian Natural History Archives and Information Network (NATARC), the Estonian Naturalists’ Society and the Estonian Academy of Sciences.  

Further information: Sigrid Ots,