Content Author Object Flagger Flag Created Reason Resolved by Resolution
Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) loarie Wed, 11 Nov 2020 21:27:40 +0000

Reptile Database no longer recognizes subspecies

loarie

see comments

Comments

Thumb

Reptile Database no longer recognizes subspecies of Chelonia mydas. OK to lump the subspecies into the parent?
@douglasriverside, @peywey, @pedrovernet, @opuntia24, @rafael_gianni, @patrick_campbell, @pedro_nahuat

Posted by loarie 7 months ago (Flag)
Thumb

Talking with @pedrovernet, we came to the conclusion that to avoid sterile discussions, it is better to always indicate the species and ignore ssp.

Posted by rafael_gianni 7 months ago (Flag)
Thumb

This subject of subspecies in sea turtles is controversial.
The lack of information at the global level does not allow knowing the geographical delimitations of the known and accepted subspecies or if there are others. And some of these are dismissed.
Many specialists do not consider this level of taxa essential for the work of conservation and recovery of populations. Which in the end is what many of us work for.
In my opinion, this level of taxa complicates the systematic work carried out in Inaturalist, where many complications are already faced and brings many unnecessary discussions and discomfort.
To answer you @loarie Yes I think it would be good to work at the Species level in sea turtles.

Posted by pedrovernet 7 months ago (Flag)
Thumb

Thanks for the feedback. To be clear, I'm only asking about Chelonia mydas ssp specifically in this flag.

Our taxonomic reference for reptiles is the Reptile Database. If we follow RD thats easiest, if we don't we have to explicitly deviate which is what we're currently doing to support Chelonia mydas ssp. We should discuss deviations to make sure we're doing them intentionally since its always simpler to just follow RD and not deviate. This flag is to discuss eliminating this deviation from RD to support Chelonia mydas ssp.

RE: ssp more broadly, some sea turtles in RD don't have ssp (e.g. Chelonia mydas) and some do (e.g. Eretmochelys imbricata). If you don't want iNat to have ssp for other species of turtle (e.g. Eretmochelys imbricata) it would be best to first try to convince the RD people (ie Peter Uetz) to make the change on their end to avoid us having to make a deviation. If they can't/won't make the change and we feel strongly that we don't want a ssp we can deviate here.

I believe what happened in the Chelonia mydas case was that RD used to include ssp and then removed them. I made a deviation to continue supporting them on iNat since people were using them, but we never had a discussion about whether we are intentionally deviating - hence this flag

Posted by loarie 7 months ago (Flag)
Thumb

Very clear, just tell me if I can support you in something.

Posted by pedrovernet 7 months ago (Flag)
Thumb

your feedback on the Chelonia mydas ssp were very helpful if no one else feels strongly that we should keep them I'll go ahead and lump them into a monotypic Chelonia mydas

Posted by loarie 7 months ago (Flag)
Thumb

Thanks for letting us know what's going on with this @loarie and @pedrovernet , as I was wondering. Is there a way of communicating this to iNat members, as I have received communication from confused users asking for clarification?

Posted by patrick_campbell 7 months ago (Flag)
Thumb

patrick_campbell - taxon changes generate notifications for people who have affected content. Is that what you mean?

Posted by loarie 7 months ago (Flag)
Thumb

Yes, that would do. The last inquiry I had seeking clarification on this issue was on the 26th of October. Interestingly although Reptile Database does not have Chelonia mydas subspecies listed towards the top of the relevant page, they still have them detailed with geographic ranges in the body of text below.

Posted by patrick_campbell 7 months ago (Flag)
Thumb

in my experience RD often doesn't update all the different elements of the species pages when they update their taxonomy - which makes sense as that is a huge undertaking.

Posted by loarie 7 months ago (Flag)
Thumb

Hi everyone. I'm agree with the decision and i believe that it's will help clarify the nomenclature in iNat. Cheers.

Posted by pedro_nahuat 7 months ago (Flag)
Thumb

Thanks very much Loarie. Likewise looking after iNat is a huge undertaking and you're doing a great job.

Posted by patrick_campbell 7 months ago (Flag)
Thumb

OK I let this sit for a few months in case anyone else wanted to chime in. I've gone ahead and lumped the subspecies into the species as discussed above https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/89902 thanks all!

Posted by loarie 3 months ago (Flag)
Thumb

@loarie Good job!, congrats.

Posted by rafael_gianni 3 months ago (Flag)
Thumb

You're welcome and thanks for the information.@loarie

Posted by pedrovernet 3 months ago (Flag)

Add a Comment

Sign In or Sign Up to add comments