[Taxacom] Taxonomy Anarchy

Marcos Lhano portuga at gmail.com
Fri Jun 2 13:47:22 CDT 2017

Dear Scott

I agree and here in Brazil it´s almost the same...
And it´s important to notice that this situation happens even for 
agronomically important species.

Regards, Marcos

Prof. Dr. Marcos G. Lhano
Center of Agricultural, Environmental and Biological Sciences - CCAAB
Universidade Federal do Recôncavo da Bahia - UFRB
Cruz das Almas - Bahia, Brazil
Regional Representative for Latin America - The Orthopterists' Society
Email: marcos at ufrb.edu.br / entomology at gmail.com / portuga at gmail.com

On 02/06/2017 13:54, Scott Thomson wrote:
> A couple of points on this.
> Although in theory a species should not loose protection status if
> nomenclature changes the reality can be different depending on the
> structure of the legislation in a given country. Conservation is always a
> big issue in turtles, which I work with, and with 63% of the order
> vulnerable or worse it tends to be a big issue.  In a number of countries
> they do not recognise invalid names for taxa and species are listed by
> their valid name as an Act of Government, not available names. Changing
> legislation takes Acts of Government and this can take 2 or more years to
> accomplish. Up to 10 years in some countries. I agree that it would be good
> if this legislation listed taxa by their name at the time as suggested, but
> to do this also requires a change to the legislation which is also an Act
> of Government. Another issue is when they change their taxonomic level, eg
> species become subspecies is a particular issue. Under CITES legislation,
> which is the Country level protection that enacts the CITES agreement, a
> subspecies inherits its protection from the valid parent species, this
> means if a CITES species becomes a subspecies of a non-cites species it
> looses CITES protection. When the nomenclature changes some countries
> reserve the right to reassess the necessity for protection (Malaysia for
> example) and as such yet again nomenclature can cause a species to loose or
> at least temporarily loose its status, ie about 10 years. I am against the
> proposals in the Nature paper and agree it needs to be addressed but
> stating that species should not loose their protection due to changes in
> taxonomy may be desirable but is not the reality.
> With the benefit of hindsight it would have been better if taxonomists had
> been involved in the development of legislation for species protection,
> clearly conservationists do not understand taxonomy and consider it a tool
> for their purposes which to them should be creating stable names for
> organisms, the reality is different of course. Unfortunately taxonomists do
> not become involved in species legislation. I do this, but I acknowledge
> its probably because I work with a highly endangered group. I am a member
> of the IUCN and work directly with those who develop both the RedList and
> the CITES lists.
> I think what we need to do is address the points of the Nature article and
> explain the reality of the science of taxonomy. We should limit our
> response to that which is relevant to the concerns of the conservationists
> and has been brought up by the authors. Obviously their proposal in
> untenable and I doubt they realise why it is. I have often said to people
> including on this list that taxonomists do need to remember that we are not
> only the only people who use nomenclature but we are a small subset of
> those who do. Papers like this Nature paper are why I try to remind people
> of this.
> I would like to be a part of a refutation of this paper, I think that is
> needed, but I think we will serve ourselves better if we do this in a way
> to open communication with conservationists.
> Cheers, Scott
> On Fri, Jun 2, 2017 at 1:10 PM, Dagmar Triebel <triebel at bsm.mwn.de> wrote:
>> Dear colleages,
>> I might also add another aspect, because we currently have a regional
>> project to curate such a regional checklist of plant taxa with "current
>> taxonomy" in relation to two so-called conservation codes, i. e. that of
>> the Bavarian nature conservation agency and that of the German nature
>> conservation agency. These codes reflect two status/ administrative
>> snapshots.
>> Thus, the app involved (in our case an installation of
>> DiversityTaxonNames)  has to organise (a) the changes of taxonomy and
>> nomenclature (including more than one taxon concept) beside different
>> administrative snapshots  for these taxon concepts mainly referenced by
>>   published red list books. The consistent management of a number of stable
>> intern and extern identifiers in this context is crucial.
>> If we could discuss the various facets of this subject - also with hint to
>> some aspects of data management and data publication via web services in
>> this context, I would also sign such a reponse.
>> Cheers
>> Dagmar
>>   Am 02.06.2017 um 17:39 schrieb Marcos Lhano:
>>> Dear colleagues
>>> I totally agree with Francisco comments. I was thinking exactly the same
>>> before read this email, for example, a valid name don´t delete the
>>> synonyms. And for classification, we are constantly looking for the natural
>>> one, but all proposed classifications are theories and, in this way, a new
>>> classification don´t delete the previous one.
>>> I also agree with Dijkstra comments, specially: "/...it is true that most
>>> conservationists have no appreciation of taxonomy and (worse still) that
>>> most taxonomists have little understanding of conservation/". And, the
>>> point of view of these authors fits clearly here.
>>> So, I also would be happy to sign any response.
>>> Cheers, Lhano
>> --
>> ____________________________________________________________
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Prof. Dr. Marcos G. Lhano
Laboratório de Ecologia e Taxonomia de Insetos (LETI)
Centro de Ciências Agrárias, Ambientais e Biológicas - CCAAB
Universidade Federal do Recôncavo da Bahia - UFRB
Caixa Postal 177, CEP 44380-970
Cruz das Almas - Bahia
Representante Regional (América Latina), The Orthopterists' Society
Editor Adjunto, revista Magistra
Email: marcos at ufrb.edu.br / entomology at gmail.com

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