Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research - Conservation - Preservation - Education - Public Information - Research - Field Studies - Captive Propagation - Advancing knowledge and understanding of the herpetofauna of the American Southwest


02 Jun 2009

Since the inception of the Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research (SWCHR) we had essentially with a few exceptions followed Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico with Comments Regarding Confidence in Our Understanding, 6th Edition, 2008 by Brian I. Crother, et al when listing species in any of the various sections of the SWCHR web site other than the discussion forums. In those cases where we did not agree with the names adopted by Crother, et al, we have then followed the Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, 7th Edition (2009) by Joseph T. Collins and Travis W. Taggart. Unfortunately, what we soon began seeing appeared to be two separate self-proclaimed "official" lists competing against each other in a race to be the first to adopt taxonomic changes and new names, thus destabilizing the taxonomy of various species and creating confusion and frustration among both the herpetological community and the general public.

We do not feel that stability (real or imagined) should be sacrificed every time a new paper is published and that proposed changes should be explored using multiple methodologies before they are accepted. Some groups (like Pantherophis) are obviously a "work in progress" and even more deserving of a conservative approach until the dust settles.

The Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research has therefore created a standing Committee on Common and Scientific Names to review and determine which common and scientific names we will recognize and adopt for use on the SWCHR web site. This committee will only deal with those species native to the six southwestern states covered by SWCHR. This committee's work will be a lengthy and on-going project, the results of which will gradually begin to appear in our various species listing.

The SWCHR Committee on Standard and Scientific Names is composed of Tom Lott (Committee Chair), Terry Cox, and Riley J. Campbell.

Gerald Keown
Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research

| Home | The American Southwest Defined | Snakes of the American Southwest | Lizards of the American Southwest |
| Turtles of the American Southwest | Crocodilians of the American Southwest | Amphibians of the American Southwest |
| SWCHR Discussion Forums | Join SWCHR Today | Photo of the Month Awards |
| Awards for Photographic Excellence | Herpetological Papers & Articles | Protected Species | Herpetological Dictionary |
| Southwestern U.S. Regional Weather | Herpetological Bookstore | Southwestern Herp Events |
| SWCHR News & Announcements | A Call & Papers and Photos | Credits & Acknowledgements |
| SWCHR Position Papers | Herpetological Links | Webmasters - Link to SWCHR | Contact Us |

Advancing knowledge and understanding of the herpetofauna of the American Southwest

© 2009 - 2011 Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research

Powered by
All photographic images and articles used on this site are used with permission of the respective photographer or author and are protected by copyright. Unauthorized use is prohibited without written consent of the individual photographer or author.