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Posted by chrish on January 12, 2003 at 23:42:38:
In Reply to: AOU vs SSAR posted by troy h on January 10, 2003 at 19:22:01:
Troy, et al.
1) AOU is "bigger" than SSAR, and has a much broader following amongst non-professionals......SSAR pubs J. Herp. and Herp Rev, but who pubs the "popular" reptile mag? Reptiles Magazine . . .
I think if a good standardized list was proposed and accepted by the professional community, the journals and the magazines would follow suit. The bird journals and magazines do. The magazine publishers might even welcome a list of US herps to eliminate the questions about which name to use.
The problem with the two lists that exist today has more to do with people's egos (IMHO) than it does with serious differences in philosophy about common names.
:2) Bird field guides actually adhere to the published lists . . .
Herp field guides would to (as long as egos could be reined in!).
:3) however popular herping has become, it still pales in comparison to the numbers of birders out there. as you are very much aware, one can go to Santa Ana or High Island and bird watch by watching the birders - you see a huge group of birders, go ask "what you got" . . . even in the heighday of alterna hunting, you still had fewer than a 100 herpes in the Trans-Pecos
Are you implying there aren't enough herpers around to make the effort worthwhile? I disagree. A problem exists, the ability to fix the problem exists, let's just fix it!
:4) in herping, you have basically two groups: field people - who are more or less educated (= birders) and keepers who are typically much less educated (on average). there is no comparable second group in birding. it is the educated birding group that accepts and drives the standardization of the lists, and the field people in herping (the educated ones) have already accepted the latin
To some degree that may be true, but I don't see it as a reason not to standardize the names. And lets keep in mind that the process started long ago and has continued through several iterations. If one standard could be widely accepted and adopted by the three national herp societies, for example, we could then begin to work out the glitches, just as the AOU continues to do.
The problem now is that there is bickering about whose standardized list we should start with (the ego thing again) and whether a list is worth the effort.
Let's face facts. Common names are necessary. Every book or magazine that is published that refers to herps refers to their common name, and will continue to do so.
Look at your libraries of herp books, US and state field guides, etc. They all have common names in them. So they aren't going away, now, or in the future.
Why shouldn't we try to get them standardized so that we can remove all the problems with the common names that people have voiced here?