Navigation Links
Dealing with taxonomic uncertainty for threatened and endangered species
Date:2/14/2009

As part of a symposium on "Defining species for threatened and endangered protection" Barbara Taylor, Ph.D., NOAA Fisheries Service, will discuss the need to explicitly consider uncertainty in taxonomy in conservation decisions. Species concepts continue to be a contentious, but largely philosophical debate among academic biologists. How differences between groups of organisms are identified, however, can have real, on-the-ground policy implications for which species receive legal protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Taylor brings her experience in designing management decision rules that acknowledge and deal with the high level of uncertainty resulting from typical cases with a dearth of data. She points out that while many fields of conservation science have advanced on how to make decisions when uncertainty is high, taxonomy has not.

Taxonomy has been an evidentiary field requiring a strong burden of proof to propose taxonomic changes such as new species. The high data requirement, particularly requiring morphological data from skull collections, has resulted in certain taxonomic groups (like whales) being at a disadvantage and likely under-representing the true taxonomic diversity.

Taylor illustrates the problem of taxonomic uncertainty with a case involving killer whales, which will likely be separated into multiple species or sub-species. The petition to list Southern Resident killer whales under the ESA revolved not around risk but rather on whether these whales met the definition of Distinct Population Segment used as the smallest unit to conserve under the ESA.

Taylor discusses the potential of incorporating uncertainty into taxonomic considerations, as is commonly done in other biological fields, to allow precautionary decision-making for the purposes of conservation. She illustrates such a possible route using a decision table that uses information on both risk and the likelihood of attaining more data quickly to place potential species or sub-species as designated for conservation purposes.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ben Sherman
ben.sherman@noaa.gov
202-253-5256
NOAA Headquarters
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Earthworm detectives provide genetic clues for dealing with soil pollution
2. Managing uncertainty important in ecological balance: ASU researcher
3. Uncertainty drives the evolution of cooperative breeding in birds
4. Revealing the evolutionary history of threatened sea turtles
5. Tropical rainforest and mountain species may be threatened by global warming
6. 7 Texas mammals listed as threatened on Global Mammal Assessment
7. Newly discovered monkey is threatened with extinction
8. New population of highly threatened greater bamboo lemur found in Madagascar
9. Scripps study sets high economic value on threatened Mexican mangroves
10. When threatened, a few African frogs can morph toes into claws
11. Threatened or invasive? Species fates identified
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2016)... facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical imaging ... product recently added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. Photo ... ... ... News ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision biometric ... Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , a complete system ... ABIS can process multiple complex biometric transactions with ... fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. It leverages the ... MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been used ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... 2016 The new GEZE SecuLogic ... web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. It ... the door interface with integration authorization management system, and ... The minimal dimensions of the access control and the ... installations offer considerable freedom of design with regard to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... CLEVELAND , June 27, 2016  Global ... average 4.6 percent through 2020 to $7.2 billion.  ... (food and beverages, cleaning products, biofuel production, animal ... and biotechnology, diagnostics, and biocatalysts). Food and beverages ... gains driven by increasing consumption of products containing ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Parallel 6 , the leading software as a service ... Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which enables both audio and video telemedicine communication ... , Using the CONSULT module, patients and physicians can schedule a face to face ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks ... to industrial engineering, was today awarded as one ... selection of the world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo ... scale for the real world in the nutrition, ... engineers work directly with customers including Fortune 500 ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona combed ... pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on the Surviving ... signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can help ...
Breaking Biology Technology: