Taxonomic Lists

Red Sea Raven

One way to quantify biodiversity in an area is to assemble lists of all species that live there. The three lists given here illustrate what is known and unknown about marine biodiversity in the Gulf of Maine Area.

The Gulf of Maine Register of Marine Species lists every named species known to inhabit Gulf of Maine waters, including Georges Bank and the adjacent continental slope. This massive searchable database was first released in 2006, revealing 3,317 species, which was nearly 50 percent more than the 2,000 species previously estimated by scientists. There are many more species than this in the Gulf of Maine (see below) waiting to be discovered. Some may be known from other locations and never before reported here, but many will be new to science, and will have to be described.

The Bay of Fundy List focuses on a subset of organisms living in a specific area within the Gulf of Maine. This list summarizes the number of known species within each Phylum, Class and Order.

The list of “Known and Unknown” summarizes the number of named species within each major grouping of organisms and gives an estimate of how many more are still to be discovered.

More information

Surprising species diversity revealed – Gulf of Maine Times (PDF 144kb)