[Taxacom] Survey Results: Dealing with Sensitive SpeciesOccurrence Data

taxacom2 at achapman.org taxacom2 at achapman.org
Thu Jul 13 17:25:42 CDT 2006


This is always a difficult question - and there is probably no real solution.

Perhaps the only way is to bring them onside and involve them in helping to protect the species - perhaps get them to put something on their front page about being responsible, etc.  Try and get them to aid conservation rather than going the other way.  Involve them in cultivating certain threatened species in large numbers for distribution to members and the nursery trade to reduce pressure on the wild populations.

I know this is probably being altruistic and optimistic, but what are the alternatives?


Arthur D. Chapman

>From Lauren Raz <lraz at fairchildgarden.org> on 12 Jul 2006:

> Dear Arthur and Mike:
> Regarding sensitive species occurence data, what (if anything) can we
> do>  to police data on amateur websites?  Here is an example:
> http://www.mam> millarias.net/fields.php?
> This website includes a large database of Mammallaria species with
> detai> led locality info on wild-collected species (culled from the botanical
> a> nd horticultural literature).  The site is targeted specifically to
> cact> us collectors.
> Posting a database like this is certainly unethical, but it's probably
> n> ot illegal.  For one thing, the localities were already in the public
> do> main (albeit in scattered sources).  Second, imposing legal
> restrictions>  on webcontent can be viewed as a violation of free speech.  So, in
> lieu>  of any legal action, what can we do?  Implore all our colleagues to
> flo> od the site with email and demand that they remove the database?  
> Or is there is some formal mechanism (with teeth) that can be
> implemente> d?  This cactus site is particularly outrageous but I imagine there are
> > similar sites out there for other special interest groups. 
> Lauren
> Lauren Raz 
> Assistant Keeper of the Herbarium (FTG) 
> Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden 
> Center for Tropical Plant Conservation 
> 11935 Old Cutler Road 
> Coral Gables, FL 33156 
> Telephone: 305.667.1651 ext. 3418 
> Fax: 305.665.8032 
> lraz at fairchildgarden.org 
> www.virtualherbarium.org 
> Exploring, Explaining and Conserving the World of Tropical Plants 

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