[Taxacom] species loss: 20 years after Rio

Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at freeler.nl
Mon Apr 30 06:01:05 CDT 2012

From: "Neal Evenhuis" <neale at bishopmuseum.org>
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2012 12:28 PM
Subject: RE: [Taxacom] species loss: 20 years after Rio

Correction: "if there were enough taxonomists we would / could know all the
species..."  should read  "if there were enough taxonomists paid to describe
new species we would / could know all the species..."

There are plenty taxonomists out there. They just aren't paid to describe
species anymore or otherwise have any incentive to describe new stuff. Most
like to sort and "discover" new taxa but hate the "description" part. Just
having a taxonomist around does not guarantee we will know anything more
about his/her specialty group than we know now. Some need a push to get them
going and publish so that "we", not "they", will know all the species.

Yes, I hoped this was implied, but surely it does
not hurt to be explicit. It is not a 100% necessary
for these taxonomists to be paid as other forms of
infrastructure are possible (devoted amateurs being
offered facilities and, after ten or twenty years of
describing species, some royal or parliamentary
medal), but it needs more than just taxonomists
in a vacuum.


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