Issue 1
Monday, 02 March 2020
Charles Darwin University
E-news
CDU conservation biologist Professor Stephen Garnett convened international experts to discuss the “Principles for creating a single authoritative list of the world’s taxa”
CDU conservation biologist Professor Stephen Garnett convened international experts to discuss the “Principles for creating a single authoritative list of the world’s taxa”

Experts meet to discuss global species lists

By Leanne Miles

International biologists, including a mammal expert from the Natural History Museum in Vienna, Austria, gathered at Charles Darwin University in the run-up to the university’s celebration of its namesake Charles Darwin.

Funded by the International Union for Biological Sciences, the workshop and discussions focused on the governance of species lists that underpin global biodiversity conservation.

Meeting convenor and CDU conservation biologist Professor Stephen Garnett said the experts discussed the “Principles for creating a single authoritative list of the world’s taxa”.

“Species lists are issued by governments the world over but differences in the ways people think of species means some lists are longer than others,” Professor Garnett said. “Our workshop was about developing rules to help people choose which lists reflect the best science.

“For conservation this is vital,” he said. “If a species is recognised and gets listed it may get funded and conserved. Species that are overlooked because of poor taxonomy may get no attention and go extinct.”

Professor Garnett said the prestigious group included curator of the Mammal Collection at the Natural History Museum in Vienna, Austria, Dr Frank Zachos, who also spoke at CDU’s Darwin Day celebrations on “What is a species? Problems and answers in Darwin’s time and today”.