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Should this turtle be on the critical list?

点击量:   时间:2019-02-26 08:17:01

By Debora MacKenzie THE World Conservation Union (IUCN) has been dragged into an embarrassing row over its classification of the hawksbill turtle as “critically endangered”. The hawksbill, Eretmochelys imbricata, was given this listing in February by the Marine Turtle Specialist Group, a voluntary network that advises the IUCN. In this week’s Nature(vol 389, p 436), Nicholas Mrosovsky of the University of Toronto launches a stinging attack on this move. Although Mrosovsky is a member of the specialist group, he was not involved in the hawksbill decision. Mrosovsky says that other group members have failed to release data justifying the hawksbill listing. “I think evidence from Cuba and Mexico shows the hawksbill is not so endangered,” Mrosovsky told New Scientist. Karen Bjorndal of the University of Florida in Gainesville, former chair of the turtle specialist group, says that the delay in providing Mrosovsky with the data stems from pressure of work. “We have had more pressing things to do.” One of these tasks was to evaluate a request from Cuba to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species for permission to ranch hawksbill turtles, and also to sell shells from wild turtles to Japan. Mrosovsky helped to frame the Cubans’ request as part of his work for the International Wildlife Management Consortium, which favours the sustainable use of wild animals. The request was eventually rejected. In Nature,