[Coral-List] Do coral studies lack crucial species information??

Zoe Richards Zoe.Richards at museum.wa.gov.au
Tue Jul 31 22:19:05 EDT 2018

Hi Coral List, 
As someone who uses taxonomic and systematic tools in a variety of ways related to coral biodiversity (e.g. pure and applied science, capacity building, conservation and meeting government and industry demands) I often have to justify why coral taxonomy and species level data are important. I hasten to add that the need to continually manage perceptions, and communicate why understanding species is important, is not restricted to corals - it extends across almost every taxon.

To assist this process, I would like to draw the attention of interested readers to a document that was recently prepared by the Australian Academy of Science. 

The 'Decadal Plan for Taxonomy and Biosystematics' provides a summary of not only why taxonomy and systematics are important, but significantly, it provides a vision for the future of this research field. 

Geographically, the plan concentrates on Australia, New Zealand and their island and Antarctic territories but it is also relevant to the wider Australasian region, including Indo-West Pacific, PNG, Indonesia and Timor Leste. 

Prepared by 40 leading scientists, with contributions from hundreds more - the document is loaded with valuable information that will no doubt be useful to anyone interested in preserving the extraordinary diversity of our planet.

Cheers Zoe

Research Fellow
Curtin University
Perth, Western Australia

Adjunct Research Scientist, Western Australian Museum

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