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From the Field to the Museum: Analysis of Groups-Purposes-Locations in Relation to Spain’s Moveable Palaeontological Heritage

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This paper analyses the problems surrounding Spain’s moveable palaeontological heritage, the definition thereof, the national and regional legislation which governs it, and the particular features involved in keeping track of fossils from their natural geological context to their temporary or permanent storage or exhibition. Collecting pressures are created by five groups: (1) scientists, (2) amateurs, (3) collectors, (4) dealers and (5) civil engineering/mining. Each group can produce different pressures and impacts on a palaeontological site, but these pressures must be considered in the context of the sensitivity of a particular site in order to achieve sustainable management. This article offers recommendations for the trading and collecting of fossils which comply with the regulations and encourages greater social awareness of the importance of education and ethical principles when it comes to preserving and enjoying the moveable palaeontological heritage of other countries. Finally, it proposes a code of ethics for regulating fossil collecting in Spain.

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This work is part of CGL-2013-42643 P project funded by the Government of Spain, and it is partially funded by the Instituto Geológico y Minero de España (IGME, Government of Spain). We thank the “Gabinete Lingüístico Centro Superior de Idiomas Modernos” (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) for revising the English style of this manuscript. We agree recommendations of Ángel García Cortés during this research, and the two anonymous reviewers.

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Correspondence to Graciela Delvene.

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Delvene, G., Vegas, J., Jiménez, R. et al. From the Field to the Museum: Analysis of Groups-Purposes-Locations in Relation to Spain’s Moveable Palaeontological Heritage. Geoheritage 10, 451–462 (2018).

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