[Taxacom] Article on poaching newly described species in current issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education

Ken Kinman kinman at hotmail.com
Mon Jul 17 23:46:55 CDT 2006

     I would certainly agree that it depends on what kind of organism you 
are describing, and how accessible it is.  More so the former, since I doubt 
there would be little demand for a new species of slime mold or cockroach, 
even if the type locality was readily accessible.

     As for repairing the damage that has already been done, that Chinese 
gecko is apparently easy to breed (and the prices have gone down).  It would 
think it would be relatively easy to reintroduce into the wild if needed 
(far easier, than say, the reintroduction of whooping cranes into eastern 
North America has been).  I don't know how successful breeding the newt from 
Laos has been, but we apparently don't even yet know if the poaching has put 
much of a dent into its population anyway.

     Keeping published type locality information more vague (but the details 
still available to qualified researchers on a need-to-know basis) would be a 
good idea for some species.  There was some poaching of the bumblebee bat 
(Craseonycteris), described back in the 1970's, but I am not sure if that 
has been more of a problem than habitat destruction.  Would be nice to have 
a breeding program (governmental, not poaching!) for that species in case it 
goes extinct in the wild.  After all, there is only one extant species in 
Family Craseonycteridae, so it would be the extinction of an entire Family 
(thus a bigger chunk of biodiversity than in most cases).  Luckily they 
aren't very attractive and wouldn't make good pets.

  ------Ken Kinman
>From: Lila Guterman <lila.guterman at chronicle.com>
>To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>Subject: [Taxacom] Article on poaching newly described species in current 
>issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education
>Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 11:08:42 -0400
>Thanks to everyone who responded to my request for information about
>cases of newly discovered species that were quickly sold commercially.
>My article on the topic is in the new issue of The Chronicle of Higher
>Education. You can read it online, unfortunately without any of the
>beautiful photos that are in the print edition, at
>We are also having an online discussion about it at
>http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,28340.0.html Please feel
>free to contribute your thoughts!
>Thanks again for the help of the listserv in pointing me toward useful
>sources of information or examples. I'd also be interested in, and
>grateful for, any feedback.
>Best wishes,
>Lila Guterman
>Senior Reporter
>The Chronicle of Higher Education
>Voice: 202-466-1794
>Fax: 202-452-1033
>Website: www.chronicle.com
>Personal website: www.nasw.org/users/guterman
>Taxacom mailing list
>Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu

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