The list of the top 10 new species is issued annually by ASU's International Institute for Species Exploration as part of its public awareness campaign to shine attention on biodiversity and the field of taxonomy. Previous top 10 lists are online at http://species.asu.edu.
Taxon experts pick top 10
"The top 10 new species is all about exploration and discovery," said committee chair Jameson, "and learning more about our planet. Lewis and Clark's discoveries included the pronghorn antelope, prairie dog and prairie rose 250 species altogether. But our job is far from over. We need the help of citizens and scientists alike to meet this grand challenge."
Nominations for this year's top 10 list were invited through the species.asu.edu website and also generated by institute staff and committee members.
"We had well over 200 new species nominated this year, and from those, we picked some fascinating "critters," said Jameson.
"Members on the committee come from many places around the world and from many backgrounds, so we bring our own biases to the process; some of us like photosynthesizers, some like predators, some like ocean dwelling critters," she said.
"Committee members had complete freedom in making their choices and developing their own criteria, from unique attributes or surprising facts about the species to peculiar names," Wheeler noted. "I deeply appreciate the taxon experts who gave their knowledge and time to select this year's top 10. By sharing their passion for exploring the biosphere and discovering species, they spread the recognition and appreciation of the critical roles played by taxonomy, botanical gardens and natural history museums in biodiversity exploration and conservation."
|Contact: Carol Hughes|
Arizona State University