The SEM was founded in 1988 at a meeting in Paris to discuss the preparation of a European Mammals Atlas. The purposes of the Society are:

  • To promote links between European mammalogists
  • To encourage the study and conservation of European mammals
  • To carry out projects on European mammals

The Atlas of European Mammals was finally published in 1999 and is now widely used as a reference work

Currently, membership of the Society is restricted to members of the Delivery Group associated with the project to prepare a Second Edition of the Atlas.