[Taxacom] Early warning
Carlos Alberto Martínez Muñoz
biotemail at gmail.com
Sat Sep 26 04:30:42 CDT 2020
I see signs of a new species of tarantula being in process of description.
The researcher already published a non-spider species based on material
that was illegally collected and illegally imported to Europe. Based on the
timing of events, the spiders may have the same or similar origin. I
encourage journal editors and reviewers to extra check for legal origin of
tarantula specimens, and to keep an eye open for incomplete specimen data,
such as collectors not stated in the manuscript. Illegal trade of
tarantulas is decimating wild populations, and the last thing that I want
to see is researchers fueling it.
I also raise the issue that attempted whitewashing of illegal specimens
through scientific papers harms the entire taxonomic community. We may not
notice when new species based on illegal specimens come to light, but every
time this happens, the network of illegal collectors and dealers do know.
Then, just because of scientific misconduct of a few researchers, we all
end up seen as hypocrites that "do it too".
Another thing. When these cases happen and the holding institution
discovers that it ended up receiving illegal specimens, my position is that
there are no excuses for not returning the specimens to the country of
Carlos A. Martínez Muñoz
Zoological Museum, Biodiversity Unit
FI-20014 University of Turku
Myriapod Morphology and Evolution
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