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:Rhodin, AGJ
Journal:Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature
Start Page:86
Date Published:03/2009
Type of Article:Comment
Full Text

 I support the petition by Frazier to conserve the names Aldabrachelys and Testudo gigantea for
the Aldabra giant tortoise. Though strict adherence to the Code might
require the name changes proposed by Bour and Gerlach, the question of
the identity of the recently rediscovered purported holotype of gigantea makes
these changes not only undesirable but also uncertain. Stabilising the
nomenclature through acceptance of the unequivocally identified neotype
of gigantea would resolve the confusion and uncertainty regarding this taxon. The name gigantea has
been associated with Aldabra tortoises for most of the last 100 years
and that stability needs to be conserved. Additionally, from a
conservation perspective, destabilising the nomenclature of this
threatened species (IUCN Red List status Vulnerable) increases its risk
through obfuscation of its name, creating potential loophole exceptions
in laws and regulations concerning its protection.

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith