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:2/13/2017)... , Feb. 13, 2017  RSA Conference -- ... platform that is designed to enhance fraud detection ... release in the RSA Fraud & Risk Intelligence ... organizations to leverage additional insights from internal and ... to better protect their customers from targeted cybercrime ...
(Date:2/9/2017)... Feb. 9, 2017 The biomass boiler market ... the biomass boiler market globally in terms of revenue ... boilers. The market for biomass boilers has been segmented ... application, and country/region. The market based on feedstock type, ... residues, biogas & energy crops, urban residues, and others. ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... Report Highlights ... The global synthetic-biology market reached nearly $3.9 billion in ... a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.0% through 2021. ... for synthetic biology. - Analyses of global market trends, with ... annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2021. - Coverage of core ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... and SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. 23, ... medicine company, and Beyond Type 1, a not-for-profit advocacy ... diabetes, today announced a grant from Beyond Type 1 ... for type 1 and other insulin-requiring diabetes.  ... developing innovative stem cell-derived cell replacement therapies with a ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... Kendall Research Systems, LLC (KRS) clinical development program. KRS is a ... technology for research and clinical applications. The terms of the transaction were not ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... Scientists propose in Nature blocking a molecule ... maybe other lysosomal storage diseases as a possible treatment ... An international research team led by ... investigators from the University of L├╝beck in ... study was conducted in mouse models of lysosomal storage ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... , ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... tech innovators, engineers, and scientists from around the world, is pleased to announce ... February 22 and 23, 2017. This premier, online-only conference focused on the development ...
Breaking Biology Technology: