Now or never!
Surveying the diversity of life on earth is one of the most crucial tasks of modern science (e.g. Wheeler et al. 2004). Our planet is changing, man-made exploitation of land and seas increases, and thus extinction rates are high and are not expected to decrease in the future. Yet only 10-30% of animal species may be known to science. In its current pace, a decreasing number of ill-funded taxonomists will need 300 years at least to describe animal life. Global initiatives such as the Census of Marine Life (CoML) or the Encyclopedia of Life (EoL) point to the need of investigating the remaining wealth of life quickly. If we want to protect living diversity efficiently, we need to generate a reliable base of knowledge. Faunal surveys, large scale collecting efforts, monographs and taxonomic revisions on any taxa are as essential as depositing samples and data in public repositories such as museums and data bases. Additionally applying modern tools such as DNA-barcoding , establishing integrative taxonomic approaches, and training and employing young researchers is more needed than ever.