Endangered Genera (or Families)?

Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 7 11:36:18 CST 1999


     Having dealt with species level taxonomy (as co-editor of "Mammals
Species of the World", 1982 edition), and more recently at much higher
taxonomic levels, one issue always crosses my mind when endangered
species come up:
     Are there any lists (governmental or otherwise) that concentrate on
"endangered" high taxa like genera and families.  Given that extinctions
are unfortunately a part of modern life, I wonder if anyone tries any
kind of taxonomic "triage", so that species of less speciose genera or
families, might be given a bit more attention than very speciose genera
or families.  Of course there are other things to consider, but in
general wouldn't limited resources be best spent if we tried to
concentrate on overall genetic biodiversity.
     A species like the "bumblebee" bat, which I assume is still
endangered, being the sole member of a monotypic family (and of even
greater evolutionary importance because of its place in chiropteran
evolution), as an example.  Is it given any kind of extra protection
because it could be argued to be a more importance piece of biodiversity
than let's say an endangered species in a speciose genus of insect,
mollusc, or angiosperm.  Perhaps this is already being done?  Just
wanted to get some feedback on this while it has popped back into my
mind.
                               ---Ken Kinman

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