The Atlas of European Mammals is the result of more than 10 years work by specialists throughout Europe and is the first project of the Societas Europaea Mammalogica (SEM), founded in Paris in 1988. Under the supervision of an Editorial Committee, coordinators have collected and validated distribution data for each country using an agreed species list and a standard mapping system.
Maps of 194 species are included, plotted on a 50 km UTM grid and based entirely on observations, with separate symbols for data collected before or after 1970. Where appropriate, recent extinctions have been taken into account, so these maps represent the most up-to-date picture possible of the distribution of each species in Europe. By the completion of the project, the SEM database contained more than 93,000 items of data. During the work, specialists were commissioned to prepare a brief overview of each species, including details of distribution, habitat and population status, and international legal and conservation status.
As well as the maps and species accounts, the atlas also contains a complete species list for the whole of Europe, with details of the international legal and conservation status of each species and the common names of each species in 33 European languages. The atlas thus represents a unique and essential reference source for scientists, conservationists, policy makers and the interested amateur.
Coverage for Europe is complete as far east as the border of the former Soviet Union, and it has been possible to include the Baltic States and the Russian region of Kaliningrad. The Canaries, Azores and Madeira are also included.