[Taxacom] when is a common species critically endangered?

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Tue Jun 26 18:29:30 CDT 2012

Thanks Francisco ... here is the actual example, with references: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aceria_clianthi

From: Francisco Welter-Schultes <fwelter at gwdg.de>
To: Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> 
Cc: TAXACOM <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> 
Sent: Wednesday, 27 June 2012 11:24 AM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] when is a common species critically endangered?

Hi Stephen,

Yes I agree with you. It is currently not necessary to take measures for
saving this species. It is also inconsistent with the treatment of Homo
sapiens on the IUCN Red List.
Homo sapiens was placed on the Red List in 2008, in the Least Concern
category. We could also say, almost extinct in the wild. There is one
surviving undisturbed natural population of about 100 individuals on an
island of the Andaman islands, India, which has, as far as know, no
protection from a Red List status.

I have also a critical position to placing clearly not threatened species
on Red Lists, such as quickly spreading and invasive species, and
classifying them in the Least Concern category together with species which
are in serious decline but do not yet qualify for Near Threatened. The Red
List is broadly understood as a synonym for a list of threatened or near
threatened species. It is not thought to represent a list of all species
of the world.


> For plants, this is easy to answer: when it is critically endangered in
> the wild, but common in cultivation. More interesting is the case of an
> insect or mite, host specific to such a plant. I am debating this issue at
> the moment. A mite has been put on the "Nationally Critical" list just
> because its only host plant is on the "Nationally Critical" list. But I
> say this is wrong! The plant is common in cultivation, and the mite is
> also on cultivated plants! For animals, including mites, you can't make an
> "in the wild" vs. "in cultivation" distinction. Basically the mite is "in
> the wild" regardless of whether it is on wild or cultivated plants, in my
> view. What do others think?
> Stephen
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Francisco Welter-Schultes
Zoologisches Institut, Berliner Str. 28, D-37073 Goettingen
Phone +49 551 395536

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