[Taxacom] De-extinction & Rhachistia aldabrae

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Thu Oct 16 00:17:24 CDT 2014

>It is pragmatic, even vital, to slant work to appear relevant to the available honey pot of funding<

So, you have no problem with fictional species erected for "pragmatic" [=economic] reasons, then Geoff?! 


On Thu, 16/10/14, Geoffrey Read <gread at actrix.gen.nz> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] De-extinction & Rhachistia aldabrae
 To: "Stephen Thorpe" <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
 Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu, gread at actrix.gen.nz
 Received: Thursday, 16 October, 2014, 5:58 PM
 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
 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
 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
 > 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>
 >  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/10/10/20140771http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/41223/title/Snail-Revival-Raises-Peer-Review-Debate/

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