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Species delimitation in mammals: A response to Gippoliti

Author:
Zachos, Frank E.
Source:
Mammalian biology = 2019 v.94 pp. 132-133
ISSN:
1616-5047
Subject:
evolution, mammals, taxonomy, wildlife management
Abstract:
In a comment published in this issue, Spartaco Gippoliti (2019) presents a critique of a recent perspective paper of mine (Zachos, 2018a). Specifically, he accuses me of diminishing taxonomy and of denying it its proper role in conservation biology. Here I respond to these criticisms and argue that taxonomy is necessary but not sufficient for delineating appropriate units for conservation due to its inherent threshold character that is a direct consequence of imposing a discrete classification system (taxonomy) onto a continuous process (evolution).