lesk at BIO.BU.EDU
Wed Nov 10 07:21:07 CST 1999
One issue is being overlooked in this subspecies argument. The US
Endangered Species act requires recognition of evolutionarily stable units
(ESU's) so that endangered, genetically distinct populations of particular
taxa can be protected: to wit, salmonid runs. Does it help to grant these
esu's status as subspecies?
The Plymouth Red-bellied turtle (Chrysemys rubriventris bangsi) was
protected by these criteria. Is it a subspecies? It was thought so, but
as things turned out it probably is not genetically that distinct from the
next closest populations in New Jersey. Does it matter?
Boston University Marine Program
lesk at bio.bu.edu
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