[Taxacom] De-extinction & Rhachistia aldabrae

Geoffrey Read gread at actrix.gen.nz
Wed Oct 15 23:58:57 CDT 2014

It is pragmatic, even vital, to slant work to appear relevant to the
available honey pot of funding. Same happens in marine invasive species
work (well funded) where there is some very dodgy data on obscure taxa
irrationally declared as aliens, an even more unwise science process than
quickly declaring tiny land critters extinct.

I just tried to alert IUCN redlist that R. aldabrae was not as extinct as
they would have us believe (yes they probably know that given the
publicity), but couldn't get a link that worked.

Their definition of qualifying for extinction seems reasonable if strictly
enforced, as it requires exhaustive surveys and no reasonable doubt, but I
recall a fair number of de-extinctions in recent years.


On Thu, October 16, 2014 2:14 pm, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
> Yes, I have a vaguely similar case from N.Z., where a new species of
> beetle (medium sized and flightless) has just been described on the
> flimsiest of evidence (and I have some definite, but inconclusive,
> evidence against it being a new species), claimed to be restricted to one
> tiny location and sparse even there. My attempts to publish a short note
> to flag the issue hit a brick wall. My note was rejected as being "purely
> negative" and "contributing nothing". Well, given that conservation
> resources are limited, and that there is a pot of money for research in
> such species of potential conservation concern, I would say that it is
> very important to point out the flaws in relevant published taxonomy.
> Without such scrutiny, taxonomists could manufacture "new species" just to
> get hold of said conservation funding. My evidence against this beetle
> means that there is no way to recognise it (either morphologically or
> geographically), which makes the assessment of
>  its conservation status a bit tricky!
> Stephen
> --------------------------------------------
> On Thu, 16/10/14, Geoff Read <gread at actrix.gen.nz> wrote:
>  Subject: [Taxacom] De-extinction & Rhachistia aldabrae
>  To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>  Received: Thursday, 16 October, 2014, 1:34 PM
>  A cautionary tale if your study
>  critters are a little on the small side.
>  http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/10/10/20140771
>  http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/41223/title/Snail-Revival-Raises-Peer-Review-Debate/

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