Talk:Arctocephalus forsteri

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Page title[edit]

I suggest this article should be moved to its common name of New Zealand Fur Seal, following the guidelines on WP:TITLE — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:02, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

The name "New Zealand Fur Seal" is no longer used in South Australia as it may give the impression that it is a recently introduced species from New Zealand, rather than being native to this area (the population has increased in recent years, after recovery from very low numbers due to 19th century sealing operations). The term "long-nosed fur seal" has since been adopted - see ref #3 in the article - so use of the scientific name is appropriate for the article title. Cheers, Bahudhara (talk) 06:03, 4 January 2017 (UTC).

Requested move 17 August 2017[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: no consensus - the wealth of opposition with differing rationales balances out the extremely impressive research Bahudhara has done on the page name. Perhaps another RM at a later date to see if consensus can be established either way is the best course of action. DrStrauss talk 22:04, 23 August 2017 (UTC)

Arctocephalus forsteriNew Zealand fur seal – Naming rules for wikiproject suggest using most common English name for article title which is New Zealand fur seal based on google search. Some controversy in Australia about using that name by a small number of interested parties. Many Australian authorities still using New Zealand fur seal as common name including Australian Museum and Western Australia Wildlife. Also see discussion above regarding another users request to change name. Using RM for wider discussion with Kiwi and Aussie participation hopefully Pvmoutside (talk) 13:26, 17 August 2017 (UTC)

  • The official Australian government taxon page uses NZ fur seal and Long-nosed Fur Seal also here. NSW government uses NZ fur seal, as does Tasmania. IUCN ghlightsthe problem of the common name of NZ fur seal, which it concedes is the most common name. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 13:43, 17 August 2017 (UTC)
In the examples given above, the NSW webpage dates from 31 Jan 2014, the Tasmanian from 6 May 2015, so they don't necessarily reflect current usage, as "long-nosed" was first proposed in December 2014. Bahudhara (talk) 07:36, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Ultimately I reluctantly support the move. Even though the name is inaccurate, the proposed alternative name of "long-nosed fur seal" appears to have little traction as of yet. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 13:52, 17 August 2017 (UTC)
    • Casliber, it isn't an either/or situation. The alternatives so far are: (1) Leave as universal binomial name; (2) change to "New Zealand fur seal" per this RM; (3) change to "Australasian fur seal"; or (4) change to "Long-nosed fur seal". Nor is there any exact proof that "New Zealand fur seal" is still the most common name, as that is rapidly changing (see Bahudhara's comment below). Softlavender (talk) 07:37, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose Given the presence of multiple vernacular names, it should stay at the binomial, which is universal to the species.--Kevmin § 14:41, 17 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - IUCN says the common name is problematic because most of the current population lives in Australia, not New Zealand. WP:NCFAUNA says "Do not use vernacular names when it is not clear to what the name refers". Given these two points, to avoid ambiguity I think use of the scientific name is preferable. --AussieLegend () 15:49, 17 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Support the move Plenty of animals have vernacular names which are undescriptive or inaccurate. Egyptian Geese are found throughout Africa, Sardinian Warblers aren't common in sardinia and are fund throughout the Mediterranean. Common names don't have to be geographically perfect to be the common name for the species, and in this case the common name is NZ seal even though it also lives in Australia Sabine's Sunbird talk 17:55, 17 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Support move to a common name. I'm not hung up on the geographic references, otherwise Branta canadensis might be re-named as 'Northern Goose'. However, which common name to use may be more difficult as MSW (our wiki standard) still lists it as 'Australasian Fur Seal' while EOL and Arkive both have 'New Zealand fur seal', 'Cheers, Loopy30 (talk) 18:51, 17 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Support per above reasoning, and as the simple and recognizable common name of the seal it can be better understood by the average reader of English. Randy Kryn (talk) 20:49, 17 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per Kevmin (multiple vernacular names, probably in the process of being changed) and AussieLegend (inaccurate name). Peter coxhead (talk) 22:42, 17 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Redirect as both the suggested name and scientific names are in common use within their respective communities, the simple answer would be a redirect which means the arguments above are addressed. NealeFamily (talk) 00:25, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
    I'm not sure what you mean. If you mean leave the article at the scientific name with redirects at the English names, this is the situation at present. Peter coxhead (talk) 00:46, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose. When the target name (however common at any point or place), is misleading and problematic, and is merely one of several vernacular names, Wikipedia keeps the title as the universal, binomial name. That's what redirects are for, and if someone types or even begins typing "New Zealand fur seal" into the Search field, they will easily end up at this article. Softlavender (talk) 01:50, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
The vernacular name "long-nosed fur seal" was proposed by South Australian researchers in December 2014 to replace "New Zealand fur seal" in this paper, Scientific Correspondence: Long-nosed fur seal: A new vernacular name for the fur seal, Arctocephalus forsteri, in Australia, from which the following quotes are taken:
In South Australia there have been calls for culls based partly on the uninformed belief that the local fur seal is feral and has been introduced from New Zealand. The logic for that belief is that if the Australian fur seal is a local species in southern Australia, then the New Zealand fur seal must have been introduced ...
We believe that using the vernacular name New Zealand fur seal for A. forsteri in Australia is both misleading and inaccurate with respect to the species’ Australian distribution, and leads to it having an undeservedly poor image in Australia.
This was due to public concerns about the effects of increasing seal numbers (recovering from near extinction by 19th century sealing activities) which were affecting livelihoods of local fishers in one region, as well as by large declines in populations at certain rookeries of a charismatic species near popular tourist destinations (the little penguin), which were leading to calls for culling of the seals.
In its responses to these community concerns, since 2015 the name "long-nosed fur seal" has been adopted and used increasingly by the South Australian government across all agencies, e.g. see South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources > ... > Living with wildlife > Seals and Community questions on long-nosed fur seals), the Tasmanian government (see Long-nosed Fur Seal, and a Victorian government website has the following:
The name, New Zealand fur seal, confused many along the coasts who mistook the seals for pests, so they underwent a recent name change. Now known as long-nosed fur seals, some scientists believe that they could have been here longer than the Australian fur seal.
"Long-nosed fur seal" is now commonly used by researchers, community groups and the media, both in South Australia, and elsewhere in Australia. Cheers, Bahudhara (talk) 06:58, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
Nice research and presentation Bahudhara. This RM looks like no consensus to move, maybe it should be closed and a new RM opened on 'Long-nosed Fur Seal'. Randy Kryn (talk) 10:31, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Support: The "long-nosed fur seal" name for the species has only been proposed since 2014 and has not yet gained widespread acceptance. Ive included below prominent websites (including some in Australia still using New Zealand fur seal as the common name

In my opinion, New Zealand fur seal remains the overwhelming common name for this species, and the Project states to use English names wherever possible. Wikipedia is not Wikipedia:CRYSTALBALL. There may be a time in the future where another name should be used, but I don't believe that is now......Pvmoutside (talk) 11:53, 18 August 2017 (UTC)

Comment: Re the refs above:
EOL ref. - lists 10 common names
National Geographic ref - undated caption on a photo blog site
Arkive ref - the most recent sources cited on this page are from 2009
Western Australia ref - last updated: 26 November 2015
Tasmania ref - last updated: 6 May 2015
Britannica ref - "Britannica does not currently have an article on this topic."
Australian Museum ref - last updated: 4 November 2014
Guardian news article 2015 - from 2 July 2015
Society for Marine Mammology ref - "Content retrieved from Wikipedia"
I'm not expecting that "long-nosed fur seal' will replace "New Zealand fur seal" as the common name, but given that it is now being used officially (by researchers and by government) in a very significant portion of its range, in my opinion, retaining the binomial name is more appropriate for the title of this article. Cheers, Bahudhara (talk) 13:23, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
  • oppose - reluctantly Ironically the "latin name" is the best fit at this point in time, because we know the "common" name in english is in transition. We also know that the names have only been in use in more recent times where as the animals have had Indigenous names that have lasted for 10's of thousands of years none of which are actually included in the current article. Gnangarra 12:06, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
Comment Unlike New Zealand which has only one indigenous language (Māori), in Australia there would have been very many different languages spoken by the various tribal groups inhabiting the vast southern coastline where the seal is found. Given the other major political/legal controversy involving the Ngarrindjeri, the indigenous peoples of the Murray, Lower Lakes and the Coorong where the seal culling issue has more recently arisen, it may have been deemed politically unwise to have suggested using an indigenous name for the seal (e.g. see). so choosing a new vernacular name may have been seen as being a more neutral option. Bahudhara (talk) 00:45, 20 August 2017 (UTC)
comment yep there are many issues and many different names hence the irony of using the relatively recent latin/scientific name in preference to any alternative. Gnangarra 01:26, 21 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose While vernacular preference might be a good rule there is also NPOV. AU vs NZ is perhaps technically a nationalistically biased position so to be neutral then we should use the scientific name ? Also Gnangarra has a very very good point too! Aoziwe (talk) 13:22, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
My references above indicate even many Australian authorities have yet to accept the name. The better argument to me is the "name is in transition", but in my eyes not enough movement has occurred yet. I can see, however, those in opposition reaching their conclusions in the manner they have. I also don't want to belabor the rationale and discredit sources from the other side, but I'd like to defend further my cites:
EOL ref. - "does list 10 common names", but they use New Zealand fur seal from those choices
National Geographic ref - undated caption, but site does regularly update
Arkive ref - "the most recent sources cited on this page are from 2009", but they also do regularly updates on all their pages when needed and as time allows. Just because the last ref is from 2009, you can't conclude their article hasn't been updated in any way since.
Britannica ref - "Britannica does not currently have an article on this topic", but they do have a page, and list New Zealand fur seal on the fur seal article.
Society for Marine Mammology ref - "Content retrieved from Wikipedia", but article name is the Society's choice....Pvmoutside (talk) 14:08, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
As noted your references are flawed, and I will point out again that youre ignoring that the most common name is the binomial, not either of the others.--Kevmin § 15:19, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
The references are not flawed, you just disagree with them......Pvmoutside (talk) 18:48, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
Incorrect, they are flawed, as has already been demonstrated.--Kevmin § 19:48, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
I'm also asking you directly to stop moving obscure species to "vernacular" names, the majority are NOT known outside of the literature anyways and the binomials are much more regularly used. --Kevmin § 19:54, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
Kevmin, that statement deserves another discussion page and a broader discussion than the narrow scope of the discussion surrounding Arctocephalus forsteri here. If you would like to begin a discussion page regarding using vernacular names for obscure species (if it hasn't been discussed already other than in individual wikiprojects), I'd be happy to comment....Pvmoutside (talk) 00:24, 21 August 2017 (UTC)

Oppose per AussieLegend and Bahudhara. Looking at the published literature that mentions Arctocephalus forsteri since 2013, I found most articles out of Australia do use "long-nosed fur seal" and I don't think it makes sense to move the article at this time to a name that may be disfavored in the future when the binomial name is not in question. In any case, the binomial name is mentioned online in connection to most uses of either vernacular name and TITLE doesn't specify the binomial name can't be the name that is used most commonly. – Rhinopias (talk) 18:27, 18 August 2017 (UTC)

Rhinopias, I have no problem continuing use of the binomial if sufficient numbers don't agree with the RM. My belief based on my google search is most references, including many Australian ones, at this time still call the animal New Zealand fur seal, but if the majority feels otherwise, or feel that name is now too ambiguous, I can see that too. At least there is a discussion about it now in place for the record.....Pvmoutside (talk) 00:02, 19 August 2017 (UTC)
A Google n-gram search would give a clearer picture of the current usage trend than a standard Google search. Softlavender (talk) 00:08, 19 August 2017 (UTC)
Softlavender, I do not know what an ngram search is, if you'd like to do the honors.....Pvmoutside (talk) 00:17, 19 August 2017 (UTC)
I've actually never done one, but I've seen others do them in Wikipedia discussions. I now see however, that it only searches books, and only through 2000, so it wouldn't be that helpful here. In any case, here is the link: [2], and the "info" page: [3]. -- Softlavender (talk) 00:54, 19 August 2017 (UTC)
I did a search on scholar just to see what the academics have been using recently, and I can tell that it's just a few researchers in Australia currently utilizing "long-nosed" as per Bahudhara's detailed explanation. As this species has such a small range, I don't think it makes sense to have this nuanced of a conversation when that vernacular could very well overtake "New Zealand" in its usage by Australasian authorities in a short time. Others have mentioned that use of redirects are easy, so I don't see why this can't be put off for a year or two until it's more settled. This species does not have a clear-cut "common name" and the details in WP:FAUNA as I think I'm understanding them allow for flexibility… this isn't guinea pig or cheetah. – Rhinopias (talk) 00:39, 20 August 2017 (UTC)
See, that is not my reading, the iucn itself says, "The traditional common name' for this species, New Zealand Fur Seal, is problematic because most of the current population lives in Australia, not New Zealand. A new, more appropriately descriptive common name, Long-nosed Fur Seal, has been proposed for the Australian population " - i.e. they concede it's the common name and are pushing to replace it. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 10:04, 20 August 2017 (UTC)
I don't disagree that New Zealand fur seal is used more frequently than long-nosed fur seal, but I agree with Bahudhara and Kevmin that the binomial name is utilized alongside either case. I'm interpreting the confusion explained by IUCN as being in agreement with FAUNA's statement on clarity that AussieLegend added above. I do think that the list of English names in the lead should be listed in order of their use though. – Rhinopias (talk) 19:13, 20 August 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

More nomenclature problems[edit]

Forsteri as a subspecies; and varying genus name[edit]

This indicates that forsteri is a subspecies, not a species, and that the species is Arctocephalus australis. See also Google, Books, Scholar. -- Softlavender (talk) 07:20, 20 August 2017 (UTC)

Yep, I saw the species/subspecies debate...which is why it is easier to have it at a common and not scientific name. Best we can do is lay out the reasons for and against taxonomy status as per the literature. Incidentally, the IUCN page lists it as species not subspecies. This book goes further and notes that Australian and NZ populations could end up being split anyway. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 10:06, 20 August 2017 (UTC)
You're right, The IUCN Redlist does denote it as a species (my oversight), and the subspecies claims are noted as "synonyms". However numerous publications of recent years denote it as a subspecies: [4], [5]. Then there's also the varying genus name, Arctocephalus or Arctophoca. All of these things should be noted in the article text, and the disputed subspecies status should also be noted in the Arctocephalus australis article among the subspecies. Softlavender (talk) 11:00, 20 August 2017 (UTC)
It's already mentioned on the latter page, though not discussed in detail Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 14:03, 20 August 2017 (UTC)

"Southern fur seal"[edit]

We need to either reliably cite or remove

The name ... southern fur seal [is used by] by speakers in Australia.[citation needed]

... a claim in the lede that has gone tagged and uncited for six years. Google, Books, Scholar appear to turn up a variety of species and subspecies that seem to be called that. Softlavender (talk) 07:20, 20 August 2017 (UTC)

.....different species can simultaneously use the same English name. Most are more commonly associated with certain species more than others, while some are not. I know in birds, for example, multiple common names are listed on article pages, with the most commonly identified name used for the article title if one stands out amongst others. I believe this follows both the Wikiproject guidelines and Wikipedia Manual of Style. No time like the present to fix the uncited tag once/if concensus can be reached on this species.........Pvmoutside (talk) 00:36, 21 August 2017 (UTC)
give the tribulations even we are facing with the common name its probably one of those article where its appropriate to dedicate a whole section the naming issues both current and historical. Gnangarra 01:30, 21 August 2017 (UTC)
If the claim has been challenged for 6 years and still remains unsourced I see no problems with removing it. If a source is later found then it can always be restored to the article but WP:V is clear: "Any material that needs a source but does not have one may be removed." We add {{citation needed}} to give editors a chance to source disputed claims but 6 years is long enough. --AussieLegend () 02:57, 21 August 2017 (UTC)
I have therefore just now removed it. Softlavender (talk) 03:30, 21 August 2017 (UTC)