[Taxacom] taxonomy and conservation of common skate
s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz
Fri Nov 20 18:01:40 CST 2009
Skating on thin taxonomic ice! Puns aside, Sam says 'the taxonomy of the species hasn't caused it to be endangered, overfishing has'. I guess, though, that it could be argued that conservation management decisions rely on good taxonomy, so bad taxonomy can lead to bad management decisions which can in turn lead to a species becoming endangered ...
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Sam Brown [s_d_j_brown at hotmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, 21 November 2009 12:19 p.m.
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] taxonomy and conservation of common skate
I've been somewhat annoyed by the reporting over this unfortunate situation. The Science Daily article is a case in point, with a headline stating
"Is 80-year old mistake leading to first species to be fished to extinction?". The taxonomy of the species hasn't caused it to be endangered, overfishing has. While the prior placement of these species may have caused people to underestimate the threat to these populations, the species was already considered to be critically endangered in 2006. Maybe a revised and accurate taxonomy would've made people more carefully consider the conservation status earlier, but I am sceptical...
It just seems to me that the blame for this species' decline is being placed in the wrong place.
As an aside, while looking at the skate article I came across this one which may be of interest to list subscribers also:
"Microbiologists and astrobiologists help kids discover new species"
Bio-Protection Research Centre
PO Box 84
sam.brown at lincolnuni.ac.nz
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 2009 10:14:36 -0600
> From: James Zahniser <zahniser at illinois.edu>
> Subject: [Taxacom] taxonomy and conservation of common skate
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> <d6f391f0911200814l2e60af36y9f653f93e59f8dbf at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> An interesting (and alarming) study was just published on the taxonomy of
> the endangered "common skate" , formerly Dipturus batis (but see new
> publication on naming), highlighting the importance of taxonomy to
> News story in Science Daily:
> Early online publication in Aquatic Conservation:
> IUCN listing:
> James N. Zahniser
> Illinois Natural History Survey
> 1816 S. Oak St.
> Champaign, IL 61820
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