[Taxacom] when is a common species critically endangered?

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Wed Jun 27 18:29:39 CDT 2012

I'm not sure how this relates to the question at issue? The question is: is Aceria clianthi "Nationally Critical", or something less? The problem is that people here think that a host specific animal should automatically get the same threat rating as its host, even when the host is a plant. I say that this is not, so to speak, comparing apples with apples, because of the cultivation issue built into plant threat classifications. To be clear, Clianthus is "Nationally Critical", but it is understood as "in the wild", whereas it is far less threatened (though still not too healthy) in cultivation. The mite is classified as "Nationally Critical" simpliciter, even though it occurs on cultivated Clianthus. The mites on cultivated Clianthus are not cultivated mites, nor are they domesticated mites, nor are they captive mites. They are mites "in the wild", so the mite is not "Nationally Critical", nor even  "Nationally Critical in the wild"! We simply lack a
 conceptual framework to classify the mite appropriately, and just giving it the same threat level as the plant is IMHO inadequate ...

From: JF Mate <aphodiinaemate at gmail.com>
To: Taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> 
Sent: Thursday, 28 June 2012 11:04 AM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] when is a common species critically endangered?

I ignore the particulars of Clianthus´plight, but if it was on its way
out because of "natural" reasons (not all extinctions are
anthropogenic) its horticultural appeal may have allowed it to survive
in the man-made world of gardens. In this way it effectively becomes
an artificial habitat for the mite. It only continues existing because
of human intervention preventing its extintion (Wollemia nobilis may
be a better example but the point stands as a general principle even
in Clianthus is endangered due to human action). Just splitting hairs.


P.S. Humans are only invasive because of "natural range extension" ;)


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