Rare species

Eric or Pat Metzler spruance at INFINET.COM
Wed Jul 30 08:42:24 CDT 1997

Don McAllister wrote:
> Geoff Read wrote:
> >
> >
> > I see something at:
> >
> > http://www.iucn.org/themes/ssc/redlist/categor.htm
> >
> > Is that the page? It appears to be about endangeredness rather than
> > rarity as such.
> >
> Yes that's it, and vulnerable is the equivalent of rare. Amongst other
> criteria are:
> Declining rate of 20% in 10 years or 3 generations
> (more deleted)

Vulnerable, as defined here with rates of decline, is also the
equivalent of "threatened" which is a legal definition, not to be
bandied about when one is talking about infrequently encountered species
rather than species which need governmental protection.  In my opinion,
the definition at this WWW page further confuses the issue by combining
two completely different situations - (1) the decline of species with
(2) frequency - in a single definition.  This situation illustrates my
frustration that "rare" can easily be translated to "threatened," thus
eliciting protection when none is needed.

Until a better definition is provided, the word "rare" is unfriendly.  A
researcher can be prohibited from studying a subject by simply defining
the subject as "rare."  It happens.

Don:  Thank you very much for providing this web page - it's very

Eric Metzler
Columbus, Ohio

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