Mammalian Biology

, Volume 94, Issue 1, pp 132–133 | Cite as

Species delimitation in mammals: A response to Gippoliti

  • Frank E. ZachosEmail author
Point of view


In a comment published in this issue, Spartaco Gippoliti (2019) presents a critique of a recent perspective paper of mine (Zachos, 2018a). Specifically, he accuses me of diminishing taxonomy and of denying it its proper role in conservation biology. Here I respond to these criticisms and argue that taxonomy is necessary but not sufficient for delineating appropriate units for conservation due to its inherent threshold character that is a direct consequence of imposing a discrete classification system (taxonomy) onto a continuous process (evolution).


Conservation Species concepts Taxonomy 


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Copyright information

© Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mammal CollectionNatural History Museum ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of Integrative ZoologyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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