[Taxacom] Journalist inquiry

Lila Guterman lila.guterman at chronicle.com
Tue Jun 27 16:00:04 CDT 2006

Hello all,

I'm a science writer at the Chronicle of Higher Education. I write 
about  research in science and medicine. I'm working on an article about 
a problem coming up in animal taxonomy research, and I was wondering if 
members of the mailing list have other examples of the same problem, or 
ideas of how to deal with it.

As you may have seen in Science last month, three newly discovered 
amphibian and reptile species rapidly appeared in commercial trade after 
their descriptions in the scientific literature. I would like to know if 
similar problems have occurred with other newly described plant or 
animal species. (I have already posted this query to the Herbaria 
listserv, as well.)

Do researchers have a good way to deal with such issues? Are locations 
of new plant or animal populations being suppressed from scientific 
descriptions? If so, does this hinder further research or conservation? 
If the locations continue to be published, does the practice endanger 
the described new species since poachers will know where to find it?

I'd be very grateful if anyone had some ideas or comments on such 
issues. This is for an article that will appear in early July, so I'd 
need responses by the end of the week.

Thanks so much,

Lila Guterman

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

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