[Taxacom] Conservation (Canadian coin controversy)

Robin Leech releech at telus.net
Wed Jan 12 00:25:51 CST 2011

Hi Ken,
You do not understand Canadian law.  There may be several species that
are as common as dirt in the US, but which only marginally occur and
survive by their toe nails in Canada.  The horned-lizard, Phrynosoma
douglasi, is one example.  And we have tried to re-establish the Prairie
Dog and the Black-footed ferret are two more examples.  And I think
the kit fox, too.
The 3 mammal species have been re-introduced, but I am not sure of
the success.  The lizard could easily be extirpated in Canada with a few
cool wet summers.
Consider the Lynx and wolves captured in Canada and taken to former
ranges in the US.  Same process in reverse.  A national park does not
have to be involved, but it helps from the "keep the bad guys from shooting
them" perspective.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kenneth Kinman" <kennethkinman at webtv.net>
To: <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 8:05 PM
Subject: [Taxacom] Conservation (Canadian coin controversy)

> Dear All,
>         A controversy has arisen over a new Canadian coin which
> supposedly should help promote the conservation of certain endangered
> species which occur in the National Parks of Canada.  Two of the four
> species pictured on the coin have stirred no controversy whatsoever
> (especially the Whooping Crane).  However, two of the other species do
> not occur in Canadian National Parks at all.
>        Of those two species, the southern maidenhair fern is
> particularly controversial, since it not only does NOT occur in Canadian
> National Parks, but occurs by chance in one tiny spot in Canada.  This
> would not be so bad, except that this species grows like a weed in the
> southeastern United States.  That it should be protected in Canada (at
> all) is questionable, but that it should be place on such a coin along
> with the Whooping Crane is (to use the term of other critics)
> "ridiculous".
>       The term "triage" seems appropriate here.  A species like the
> whooping crane should clearly be protected, but something like this fern
> (which is quite common in the United States, makes no sense.  Even the
> Canadian researcher whose work lead to the listing of this fern as
> endangered in Canada says that it "weird" to have included it on this
> coin.  The only thing that one can wonder (about those who approved
> including this fern on the coin) is "what were they thinking?"
>      That a species is in danger of extirpation in a VERY tiny outlying
> area (far from its natural range) has nothing to do with the danger of
> its extinction as a species.  Were there any biologists involved in this
> decision at all?  It's not even close to being a subspecies, and I
> wouldn't be terribly surprised if it was introduced there by people (on
> purpose or by accident).  In any case, it seems to be Much Ado About
> Nothing.   But I guess it is now too late to take it off the coin, and
> they should have consulted knowledgeable biologists before such a
> questionable decision was made (presumably by some governmental
> bureaucrat).
>            ----------Ken Kinman
> http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/photos/Parks%2BCanada%2Bcoin%2Babsolutely%2Bridiculous%2Bcritics/4072078/story.html
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