Conservation issues.

Graham Thackrah G.Thackrah at NHM.AC.UK
Sat Apr 12 09:33:58 CDT 1997


        In reply to Curtis Clarks posting on taxacom as follows;

        "The issue is not protecting taxa, but protecting species. No one
has ever
proposed an Asteraceae reserve, for example. Molecular data can indeed do
what you say if they show local variation that can't be diagnosed through
phenotype. But branching patterns are the stuff of taxa more inclusive than
species, and whether these can be recognized or not is not really a
conservation issue."

        I disagree, albeit slightly! The issue ought to be the conservation
of a species' ability to live in its natural environment. In other words,
that the natural variation present in natural populations should be
maintained wherever possible. The environment precipitating that variation
should be left to develop, wherever possible, out of the reach of human
influence. Unfortunately I understand this is a fairly unrealistic goal but
nevertheless hope it may guide conservation policy more in the future.

        What does everyone else think?



Graham Thackrah.
M.Sc. Advanced Methods in Taxonomy and Biodiversity.
Natural History Museum, London.




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