[Taxacom] Chameleons, GBIF, and the Red List

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Sun Aug 24 11:18:56 CDT 2014

> I suspect your hypothetical "tough call" is actually the usual case, and
that a
> great many published mentions of "Aus bus" may refer to two or more
> species, without there being an easy (or even any) way to tell which

I suppose that may be true in some areas, but not in ours.  For us, the
tough calls are the edge case (<1%).  But even for groups where tough calls
are more common, you do realize that the fault is not with the Museums, or
with the data aggregators or even (gasp) the bureaucrats, right? The fault
is with the nature of taxonomy and the taxonomists themselves.
Disambiguating the "tough calls" is only "tough" because of insufficient
documented information (by the taxonomists) -- not because of bad data.
Clever data structures and software services can do some pretty magical
things, but one cannot extract blood from a stone.


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