As penned in verse by T.S. Elliot (1971) , the naming of animals is a difficult matter. The process of defining species involves important biological issues and, more recently, some important conservation issues. Unfortunately, it remains a process without a clear, detailed, operational methodology, and therefore it is susceptible to bias. Our article on geopolitical species was motivated by concern that such a bias has influenced the taxonomy of an endangered sea turtle. We applaud the editors of Conservation Biology for encouraging the articulation of diverse viewpoints. We also thank J. M. Grady, E. D. McCoy, P. C. H. Pritchard, J. M. Quattro, and K. Shrader‐Frechette for their critical evaluation and insightful comments published in the preceding commentaries. In this reply, we briefly summarize the main points of our article and then address some of the specific issues raised by each of the commentaries. Finally, we attempt to connect this forum to larger issues invoked by the haunting comment of a reviewer: “We all know it is wrong to tell lies, except to confuse the enemy in wartime.” If conservation is a war, what are the duties of conservationists and scientists in this war? Is it possible that
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Oct 23, 1999
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