Labeling a specimen captured somewhere along a trail/road

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Cabintom
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Labeling a specimen captured somewhere along a trail/road

Post by Cabintom »

Is there a standard practice for labeling specimens captured along a path or road? In a recent trip I was capturing specimens while hiking between two locations. I have GPS coordinates for both ends of the hike but it would have been too tedious to grab coordinates at each place a butterfly was captured (especially since collecting was secondary to arriving at our destination on schedule).
How do I label this without it becoming overly cumbersome?
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Re: Labeling a specimen captured somewhere along a trail/road

Post by adamcotton »

You can use
"between x & y," district, province

There's not much point in giving GPS co-ordinates of the two places on the labels as they will not be the point of capture.

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Re: Labeling a specimen captured somewhere along a trail/road

Post by eurytides »

Can you find an approx GPS via google maps?
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Re: Labeling a specimen captured somewhere along a trail/road

Post by Cabintom »

An approximate GPS location is no trouble to find, but it relies on my memory (ie. which side of the small river was this particular specimen caught? Was it closer to the river or to the village? etc.)

I guess it might be helpful if I a concrete example:
Departure point: DR Congo, Bas-Uele, Ango Terr., Disolo II, 3°43'50" N, 26°09'15" E, elev. 640m
Arrival point: DR Congo, Bas-Uele, Ango Terr., Ezabisi, 3°41'34" N, 26°11'48" E, elev. 610m

I appreciate Adam's suggestion, but Ango Territory is huge and neither of these villages can be found on any map. The label could be:
DR Congo, Bas-Uele, Ango Terr.,
bet. Disolo II & Ezabisi,
elev. 610-640m
It would be accurate, but without intimate knowledge of the region, impossible for someone to locate.
Would something like this make sense?
DR Congo, Bas-Uele, Ango Terr.,
bet. Disolo II & Ezabisi,
3°41-44' N, 26°9-12' E,
elev. 610-640m
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Re: Labeling a specimen captured somewhere along a trail/road

Post by adamcotton »

Cabintom wrote: Sun Aug 28, 2022 5:16 am It would be accurate, but without intimate knowledge of the region, impossible for someone to locate.
Would something like this make sense?
DR Congo, Bas-Uele, Ango Terr.,
bet. Disolo II & Ezabisi,
3°41-44' N, 26°9-12' E,
elev. 610-640m
Add ' ~ ' before the co-ordinates (without the ' ') and it would be fine.

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Re: Labeling a specimen captured somewhere along a trail/road

Post by Chuck »

I think the MORE references one can have, even if somewhat redundant, the better.

Place names change, sometimes quite often. Some are known only locally; e.g. I labeled a bunch "Road to Noro, Western Prov. Solomon Is." which everyone knows runs from the western end of Munda Point to the SE side of Noro. Well, everyone in Western Province, anyway.

GPS coordinate are really global coordinates determined with GPS. One can determine coordinates with a properly sized map. However, I've seen labels with only a large region (e.g., Montana) and the coordinates, which is frustrating because I have no idea WHERE in Montana that is, I have to look it up.

Your example "41-44N" and "9-12'E" indicates the location down to approximately three nautical miles, which I think is pretty good. Particularly considering (in hindsight) the labels I got with specimens in the 1970s like "Morobe Prov." (33,000sq.km.)

One question for insights: how to label to avoid poachers? I can ID locations down to meters, but I'm afraid that if I do so the exact location may be revealed- either via specimens donated to museums or via photos posted here- and thus poachers will descend like locusts. Remember a few years ago Leroy wrote that there were a bunch of Saturnid cocoons somewhere and voila they all disappeared.
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Re: Labeling a specimen captured somewhere along a trail/road

Post by Cabintom »

About place names changing: it's actually a problem with one of the locations we visited. Historically it's been "Kponolo" but for reasons no one would explain to me, the name was changed 2 years ago to "Bima", but when you ask locals the name of the village they still instinctively say "Kponolo", unless someone corrects them/
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Re: Labeling a specimen captured somewhere along a trail/road

Post by Chuck »

Cabintom wrote: Mon Aug 29, 2022 2:35 pm About place names changing: it's actually a problem with one of the locations we visited. Historically it's been "Kponolo" but for reasons no one would explain to me, the name was changed 2 years ago to "Bima", but when you ask locals the name of the village they still instinctively say "Kponolo", unless someone corrects them/

How about "government building pool, Stanleyville"? Now, nobody knows where Stanleyville is.

And Salisbury. The last sign that said "Salisbury" oddly enough hung at the entrance to the Jungle Cruise at Disney World.

Gilbert and Ellis Islands, Siam, Formosa, etc. All outdated labels.
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Re: Labeling a specimen captured somewhere along a trail/road

Post by adamcotton »

Chuck wrote: Mon Aug 29, 2022 3:04 pm Now, nobody knows where Stanleyville is.
Wikipedia does
'Stanleyville, Belgian Congo, the former name for Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of the Congo'
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanleyvi ... gian_Congo

I agree that it is unlikely that places like Kponolo would be as easy to identify, but I found one of 3 places called Bima in DRC (according to Falling Rain) on Google Maps.

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Re: Labeling a specimen captured somewhere along a trail/road

Post by Cabintom »

adamcotton wrote: Mon Aug 29, 2022 4:15 pm I agree that it is unlikely that places like Kponolo would be as easy to identify, but I found one of 3 places called Bima in DRC (according to Falling Rain) on Google Maps.

Adam.
I'd argue that makes the problem worse, because none of those Bimas are the one I visited (pop. ~100, in one of the least developed parts of the country). If I simply label "Bima, Bas-Uele" people are liable to believe it's the one out east of Poko, when it is not.

Or another challenge: I collected at bridge crossing over the tiny Nganga river, only to later find that there were at least 2 other completely different rivers bearing that name in the region.
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Re: Labeling a specimen captured somewhere along a trail/road

Post by Trehopr1 »

Given how much "cursory" generalized location data is placed on most specimen envelopes; I think the best you can do with the data (that you provide on your specimens) is the best that anyone can hope for !

Your coordinate data on your labels is far better than 90%+ of the specimens coming out of Africa and being sold to dealers or at insect fairs.

Keep up the good work you've been doing and don't let the details frustrate the scientific process.

It's highly unlikely anyone else will ever go to those locations looking specifically for something and (if they ever do) the place will likely have changed by then and the species will be non-existent.
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Re: Labeling a specimen captured somewhere along a trail/road

Post by Chuck »

Cabintom wrote: Mon Aug 29, 2022 5:10 pm
adamcotton wrote: Mon Aug 29, 2022 4:15 pm I agree that it is unlikely that places like Kponolo would be as easy to identify, but I found one of 3 places called Bima in DRC (according to Falling Rain) on Google Maps.

Adam.
I'd argue that makes the problem worse, because none of those Bimas are the one I visited (pop. ~100, in one of the least developed parts of the country). If I simply label "Bima, Bas-Uele" people are liable to believe it's the one out east of Poko, when it is not.

Or another challenge: I collected at bridge crossing over the tiny Nganga river, only to later find that there were at least 2 other completely different rivers bearing that name in the region.
LOL. Try Salmon River, Mill Creek, and Bear Creek. Every county around here has at least one- sometimes more. Ironically, only the salmon remain.

In the Pacific, I've had people ask me to ID place names, focusing on "Nui" and "Motu". Nui means coconut and Motu means island, and they're appended to everything. Come to think of it, I've had tourist in Thailand ask me how to get to Doi.

We have one large bay nearby, and it's never called by it's formal name; I think most people don't even know the real name. In some places in (for example) Solomon Islands villages will be called a name applying to a larger area, and only the village residents will use the actual village name; I know of one village with two names, based on the origin of the resident (actually three names if you use the tourist name...which is a ubiquitous problem in the Pacific.)
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Re: Labeling a specimen captured somewhere along a trail/road

Post by kevinkk »

I go to Bear Creek often, Mill Creek as well, haven't made it to the Salmon River yet- I just got back from Lost Lake...
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