Comments on the proposed conservation of usage of Testudo gigantea Schweigger, 1812 (currently Geochelone (Aldabrachelys) gigantea; Reptilia, Testudines) 17

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2009
Authors:Chellam, R
Journal:Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature
Volume:66
Issue:2
Start Page:183
Pagination:183
Date Published:06/2009
Type of Article:Comment
ISSN:0007-5167
Full Text

I write to strongly support the petition by Jack Frazier to conserve the usage of Testudo gigantea Schweigger, 1812 by the designation of a neotype. Further, I agree that Testudo dussumieri Gray,
1831 should be suppressed. The arguments of Frazier are logical and
well-reasoned, and will result in the least amount of confusion. The
most obvious advantage of adopting Frazier’s application is the
stabilisation of a name which has been in wide and continuous use for
more than a century. The need to stabilise the name for the Aldabra
tortoise is becoming more and more serious due to the potential risk of
extinction. The only extant natural population is on a remote and
isolated island and is vulnerable. Climate change models predict sea
level changes which represent a real threat to a low lying island such
as Aldabra. The usage of Testudo gigantea Schweigger, 1812 for the Aldabra tortoise is appropriate and least disruptive, and should be conserved.

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