[Taxacom] Chameleons, GBIF, and the Red List

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Sun Aug 24 16:14:26 CDT 2014

But therein may be the problem! What works well for one (taxonomic) area doesn't work well for others. GBIF is trying to treat all areas the same. Given that most species are tiny arthropods, GBIF may well end up a big mess with just a few useful small things thrown in.


On Mon, 25/8/14, Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org> wrote:

 Subject: RE: [Taxacom] Chameleons, GBIF, and the Red List
 To: "'Stephen Thorpe'" <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>, "'TAXACOM'" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 Received: Monday, 25 August, 2014, 4:18 AM
 > 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
 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
 is with the nature of taxonomy and the
 taxonomists themselves.
 Disambiguating the
 "tough calls" is only "tough" because of
 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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