quarta-feira, 5 de novembro de 2014

Quick note about species diversity and citizen science

I just read a very interesting, and polemic, paper from Science on the species richness, cataloging and extinction rates topics.

Apart from all the difficulty in measuring accurately if it's possible (or not) to describe all the species in the world, what are the real rates of extinction and what to do to improve both scenarios, one thing is certain: the public participation in the process of discovery is vital. I agree with Costello at all on that. They wisely say:

"...If each species is considered a book of knowledge for which we lack a title page, then we need to catalog 0.5 to 6.5 million more books. Ten times more books are already in the U.S. Library of Congress, and each book may have taken as much or more effort to produce as one species description. But many people write books, not just those who are employed to do so. Opening up taxonomic literature to the public, as is already the case for birds [e.g., (47)], mammals, fish, flowering plants, butterflies, and some other invertebrates, will help more people study and discover species (Table 1). Already, half of all new species of European animals, including the less charismatic species, are being described by amateurs (48). The increasing accessibility of information through the Internet and mobile telephones is already providing new opportunities to aid species identification...." From here

I'm happy that everyday more and more scientists are acknowledging the need for the public participation in science.

I'm off to read more papers, because I have my doubts about these estimates they present in number of species and so on... Important topic.

Um comentário :

  1. Li este artigo ontem! Já viu que tem uma discussão inteira na internet sobre ele? Vou mandar os outros dois (comment and response) pro seu e-mail!