rare species

Eric or Pat Metzler spruance at INFINET.COM
Wed Jul 30 07:53:14 CDT 1997

> >Would anybody like to define what they consider the adjective 'rare' (as
> >applied to a species) to mean? This term crops up more frequently nowadays,
> >generally in pleas to public bodies to preserve habitats.

The word "rare" is a scary term. One of the reasons is its lack or
precision, but more importantly is the public perception that rare =
endangered, as in the phrase "rare and endangered."  All too often when
talking of rare species, I'm misinterpreted as having said the species
is endangered - even in writing!  This situation can be very bad when
the regulators decide to make decisions based on use of the word

I'm trying to drop the word "rare" from my vocabularly when discussing
the occurrence of animals in nature (I'm an entomologist).  For example,
some species considered to be pests can be rare except in outbreak
situations.  I now try very hard to use phrases that is the equivelant
of "infrequently encountered."

Eric Metzler

More information about the Taxacom mailing list