Standards employed

In preparing these volumes, the editors adopted a conservative approach to taxonomy, relying on Wilson and Reeder's Mammal Species of the World: a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (1993) as a guide. Systematics is a dynamic discipline in that new species are being discovered continuously, and new techniques (e.g., DNA sequencing) frequently result in changes in the hypothesized evolutionary relationships among various organisms. Consequently, controversy often exists regarding classification of a particular animal or group of animals; such differences are mentioned in the text.

Grzimek,s has been designed with ready reference in mind and the editors have standardized information wherever feasible. For Conservation status, Grzimek,s follows the IUCN Red List system, developed by its Species Survival Commission. The Red List provides the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plants and animals. Using a set of criteria to evaluate extinction risk, the IUCN recognizes the following categories: Extinct, Extinct in the Wild, Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable, Conservation Dependent, Near Threatened, Least Concern, and Data Deficient. For a complete explanation of each category, visit the IUCN web page at <http://www.iucn.org/>.

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