"Threat" to types (or institutions?)

Richard Jensen rjensen at SAINTMARYS.EDU
Wed Jul 12 08:41:34 CDT 1995


Ivie has a good point.  I'll throw my two cents worth in by repeating a
comment I made in  letters to my Congressional representatives regarding
the danger of not supporting the National Biological Service - species
cannot be owned by anyone (including any government).  Therefore, no one has
the right to claim a species as their own or to callously destroy a species
because it is on "my" land (or in my country).

What do we do about type specimens for species that cross political
boundaries - political boundaries are not always stable entities, so we
must have some other way to ascribe "ownership."  I'll argue that the
only reasonable way is to recognize that these specimens (and species)
belong to the world and we should not jeopardize their existence in the
name of correcting perceived or real past "injustice."  Are we in the
United States really going to demand that all of Linnaeus' types be
returned?

Cheers,

Richard J. Jensen      |   E-MAIL: rjensen at saintmarys.edu
Dept. of Biology       |   TELEPHONE: 219-284-4674
Saint Mary's College   |   FAX: 219-284-4716
Notre Dame, IN  46556  |




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