Voucher specimens

Pavulaan at aol.com Pavulaan at aol.com
Tue Sep 23 19:20:09 EDT 1997

The voucher specimen discussion seems to focus on countries trying to keep
type voucher specimens from leaving their countries.  For me, this is a new
angle in the arguement for permits.

I had long thought that collecing permits were part of the blanket wildlife
export laws that counties passed worldwide, to stop export of products (and
specimens) of rare, endangered and threatened species.  Considering that it
would be an impossible task to identify every species involved in an export
shipment, the blanket laws were just created to cover everything, to make the
job of customs enforcement easy.  Invertebrates were originally not targeted,
rather mammals and other "higher" (sorry, Neil) animals.

Personally, I often wonder is there isn't some anti-collecting hysteria
element in some of these laws.

Unfortunately, the reason why so many specimen types exist in European and
North American collections, is that is where all the taxonomists came from!
 In my view, most undeveloped countries just didn't have the "academic
manpower" and financial resources to conduct all this research on their own.

Enlighten me.

Harry Pavulaan

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