The Encyclopedia of the Swedish Flora and Fauna

Taxonomy in the 21st century Official web site: http://www.nationalnyckeln.se/en/
This is a 'fan page', in no way authorized by the Encyclopedia or the Taxonomy initiative.

Latest (partial) update of this page: January 2013.
For more recent info see Swedish version or visit the Facebook community NÄTVERKET BEVARA NATIONALNYCKELN TILL SVERIGE FLORA OCH FAUNA, a supporters' network with loads of information and debate since it started in summer 2012 (documents mainly mainly in Swedish but feel free to ask!).

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'Biodiversity' is frequently talked of. To make it happen, we need specialists (taxonomists) as well as well-informed decision-makers everywhere.

The Swedish Taxonomy Initiative (launched in 2002 with long-term parliament funding) has notably raised both the number of species known from Sweden and the general awareness of biodiversity. Two of the clues to its success are long-term funding and the integration of research, collections and popularization. Collections (basic in taxonomic work) must be kept in natural history museums with competent staff. The Encyclopedia (an outflow of taxonomic work) is popular science at its best - useful both for taxonomists worldwide and in Swedish schools.

The funding and aims of the Taxonomy Initiative are now questioned.
Possible outcomes of recent budget changes include a stop for museum grants and a stop for the publication of the Encyclopedia.

NATIONALNYCKELN BEHÖVS! ("We need the Encyclopedia!") was a Facebook event to make Encyclopedia supporters aware of the Avaaz community petition and the need for action; it is still open, though not active; there is some information in English.

The Avaaz Community Petition "Namninsamling till stöd för fortsatt utgivning av bokverket Nationalnyckeln till Sveriges flora och fauna (förkortad NN)" was delivered to the Swedish government on 12-12-19 (1181 signatures).


The Encyclopedia (NN) combines scientific accuracy with a popular approach
and nice looks.

For scientists & laymen
The aim is to cover all organisms living in Sweden.
Front and inside
Front (with dust jacket) + typical spread
The first 9 books
So far, 15 volumes were published
(the first 9 here).

Published volumes

Ordering information

Determination keys

The determination keys are bilingual, and often richly illustrated:
Bilingual determination key
The key to butterflies - left column Swedish, right column, English
Butterfly key detail
The English column in the butterfly key (close-up)
Hoverfly key detail
Bilingual key to species of hoverflies (Syrphidae) - right column, English

Descriptions and illustrations

Descriptions are mainly in Swedish, but key facts are given in English, too.
The illustrations are made for the Encyclopedia by artists working closely with the authors. Some artists make exquisite drawings, others use advanced photographical techniques.
Presentation of illustration techniques (in Swedish): Illustrationstekniker
Example of description and illustration
Key facts and illustrations of a Long-nosed Skate, a species of ray (Batoidea)
Close-up (illustration, key facts)
Key facts and illustrations of a longhorn beetle (Cerambycidae)

Distribution and maps

The map may be placed either together with description and illustration(s), or for several species together on a page (as appropriate). The total distribution in Norden is presented.
Nordic distribution + key facts
Nordic distribution for a species of hoverfly (Syrphidae), + key facts in English
Example of map page
Distribution maps for several butterfly species

Partly updated 13-01-13. - The uppermost four images were borrowed, without permission, from http://www.nationalnyckeln.se/.
Responsible for this loan & the page: Magdalena Agestam. The other book photos were provided by Torbjörn Petersson.