[Taxacom] the dark side of taxonomy

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Wed Feb 22 08:57:16 CST 2017

News report http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-39040907

Another case of ideology driving taxonomy. The idea that purity and the
environment itself is threatened by whatever is declared to be other.
Hybrids are duly executed (interesting that one web site referred to
'killed' while another used the nicer euphemism 'culled') and I once made
the mistake of criticising conservation policy in New Zealand for such an
approach (a real career killer). Watch out if you are one day found to have
the genes of an "invasive alien species".

John Grehan

A zoo in northern Japan has culled 57 of its snow monkeys by lethal
injection after discovering they carried the genes of an "invasive alien

Takagoyama Nature Zoo in Chiba said DNA testing showed the monkeys had been
crossbred with the rhesus macaque.

The non-indigenous rhesus macaque is banned under Japanese law.

A local official said they had to be killed to protect the native

The zoo's operator held a memorial service for the snow monkeys' souls at a
nearby Buddhist temple.

Japanese macaques, commonly known as snow monkeys, are native to Japan and
are one of the country's major tourist attractions.

Japan prohibits the possession and transport of invasive species, including

An official from the Office for Alien Species Management, part of the
country's environment ministry, told local media that the culling was
unavoidable because there were fears they might escape and reproduce in the

Junkichi Mima, a spokesman for conservation group WWF Japan told AFP news
agency that invasive species cause problems "because they get mixed in with
indigenous animals and threaten the natural environment and ecosystem".

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