At the risk of evoking howls of derision from your more dedicated followers, can you explain why exactly you only include mammals on your life list at full species level?
A few of the recent posts have interested me in terms of you mentioning adding or subtracting mammals from your list as various species are split or condensed and I cannot really understand why you would use only the full species list when it is changes constantly and is so obviously flawed.
The starting point for your lifelong passion can never be entirely accurate, as some orders and families are more or less overlooked whilst others have been split to an incomprehensible level….I can only presume that it is far easier to secure a research grant to study primates than almost any other mammal!
Why would you submit to the slings and arrows of outrageous taxonomy, when, even at a genetic level, it is very difficult to get two sources to completely concur?
You mentioned legitimacy on one of your recent posts, but there is never going to be a definitive list of mammals at full species level, as the task is clearly beyond both human endeavor and agreement.
As I run wildlife trips, I count and record the mammals that I see on each trip, just to give guests an idea of what they might see, but I do not have a life list and have no idea how many mammals I have been fortunate enough to encounter over the 25 years that I have actively looked for them. However, if I did, the last thing that I would want is to have to change it constantly or to remove mammals, simply because an academic fancies another couple of years in the Amazon and suddenly thinks there may be a case for splitting the night monkey for the umpteenth time!
For those of us who watch wildlife all over the world, it is clear that very little is still known about dozens of species and lots of examples come to mind in terms of animals that it is hard to justify can be classified as a single species. Killer whales, Asiatic and African lions, Eurasian and African wildcats are some of the more obvious examples, but there are many more and the differences between animals on even a regional basis can be extreme…..has anyone seen the mule deer on Vancouver Island and compared them to those on the mainland?
I appreciate that in the field it is often going to be difficult to identify certain subspecies, but, in many cases it is obvious and I am interested to know why you do not use the subspecies level as your starting point, as you could still record each at full species level, but would not have to add or remove mammals as additional classifications come and go and one theory is replaced with another.
Personally it would infuriate me and I would appreciate your view on this and the full species level in general, as it currently stands.