[Coral-List] Proliferation of Acropora prolifera

Ian Zink izink at rsmas.miami.edu
Fri Sep 13 11:38:37 EDT 2013

I agree with the below comments from Dr. Zlatarski - the discussion is 
quite interesting.

To respond to those comments from Dr. Zlatarski: although direct 
responses seem lacking, yes, indeed NOAA is listening to these 

Though NOAA has taken the lead with listing of scleractinian corals as 
"threatened" under the Endangered Species Act (ESA); it does not have 
the authority the change the language of the ESA to include a broader 
interpretation of the definition for a "species."  Under the direct 
language of the ESA,  "(16) The term "species" includes any subspecies 
of fish or wildlife or plants, and any distinct population segment of 
any species of vertebrate fish or wildlife which interbreeds when 
mature." http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/laws/esa/text.htm#section3

Elsewhere, "species" is defined as "Depending on how they were listed 
under the ESA, species is defined as species, subspecies, distinct 
population segment (DPS), or Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU)." 

Certainly under the 2nd, broader interpretation of the definition of 
"species," A. prolifera could be considered an "Evolutionarily 
Significant Unit" for lack of more strict label to bestow upon this 
"species."  Thus, A. prolifera could be afforded similar protections 
that have been bestowed upon its parent "species" A. cervicornis and A. 

Perhaps it is time to ask not NOAA, but our legislators, whether a 
broader interpretation of the definition of "species" could be 
implemented?  Is it time to update the language and definitions of this 
law since more is now known (and knowledge continues to evolve) 
regarding plasticity in the "species" concept since the enactment of the 
ESA in 1973?

I understand this list supports an international following, but for 
those in the USA, please contact the proper legislators if you think 
action should be taken.  If we don't bring this problem to their 
attention, then they won't know about it.

<)))><  <)))><  <)))><  <)))><  <)))><  <)))><  <)))><  <)))><  <)))><  <)))><

  Ian C. Zink
  Research Associate
  Cooperative Institute for Marine&  Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS)
  U. of Miami - Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS)
  4600 Rickenbacker Causeway
  Miami, FL 33149
  cell: 603-498-3988
  email: izink at rsmas.miami.edu

On 9/13/2013 5:18 AM, vassil zlatarski wrote:
> Dear friends of Acropora prolifera and coral hybridization,
> Wow, 31 postings until now for the hybrid Acropora prolifera!  Thanks for
> the interest and all collegial suggestions, and as always, for the
> assistance of Coral-List team!  The prompt replies and the number of
> postings showed that the issue was waiting for our forum's attention.  On the other hand, the observations and opinions of scientists and experienced environmentalist witnessed, without any
> contradiction, the proliferation of A. prolifera and the importance of
> coral hybridization.   Hope you will agree that this has to be
> considered as first stage of professional engagement with the case.
> The
>   second is action.  The rapid and negative changes of marine environment
>   and existing attempts to maintain the biodiversity urge study and efforts.for conservation of this evolutionary trend.  The success in
> such task requires also obligatory participation of people responsibles
> in different levels for species and ecosystems protection, as well the
> conservationists legislators.  Unfortunately, nobody of them
> participated in this thread.  With all due respect, if exists any
> employment restriction for participation in NOAA forum it would be good
> to hear, at least anonymously from
>   well informed sources as is the practice for sensitive news, that the
> thread was followed and to hear experienced suggestions for appropriate
> way to be helpful.  The existing communication hiatus make impossible
> any application of the progress of obtained knowledge and prevent from
> taking adequate conservationist's steps.  Please welcome to the
> following stage for reacting to the existing reality!
> Cheers,
> Vassil
> Vassil Zlatarski
> D.Sc. (Biology), Ph.D. (Geology)
> 131 Fales Rd., Bristol, RI 02809, USA;  tel.: +1-401-254-5121
> _______________________________________________
> Coral-List mailing list
> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list

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