The BIOPAT programme gives regular notice of newly discovered animal and plant species which researchers have proposed to the association for sponsorship. Detailed information on the new species, their habitats, and the story of their discovery can be requested from the association. BIOPAT can put you in touch with the relevant researchers. It is also possible for interested sponsors to visit the researcher concerned at his or her institute.
When you have decided on a particular species, you let BIOPAT know your choice of name on a Sponsorship Form. If the name you choose has already been allocated within the genus concerned, BIOPAT will discuss possible modifications of the name with you, or will offer you another new species.
By making a minimum donation of Euro 2,600, you officially assume the status of sponsor. You are then given a receipt which indicates the charitable nature of the donation and is therefore usable for tax-deduction purposes. At the same time, you receive a provisional certificate designating you as the sponsor of the new species you have selected.
Description and Notification of the New Species
The researcher working on the species concerned now submits a species-description to a reputable scientific periodical of his or her choice. The competent individuals check the accuracy of the text and return it to the author, making any necessary suggestions for improvement. Having gone over the text once again, the author then submits it for final publication. Although this procedure may in many cases extend over several months, it is important to you as a sponsor: only in this way is it possible to guarantee that the species you have 'adopted' goes through a sound, scientifically rigorous description-process.
As soon as the description is published, the species in question becomes officially recognized and the name you have chosen enters permanently into scientific parlance. You now receive a full sponsorship certificate, together with a picture of your adopted species and an off-print of the identificatory scientific text.
With your permission, you will be listed as a sponsor (or name-giver), together with details of your 'christenee', in the BIOPAT media work.
The following example will help clarify the naming process for you:
You have decided to sponsor a newly discovered orchid from the Bolivian rainforest. It belongs to the genus Maxillaria. You want to dedicate this lovely flower to your daughter Margret for her birthday. The researcher working on the species will then propose the name Maxillaria margretae for this species in the necessary specialist publication. Provided those in charge of the scientific verification-process agree, this name will then be immortalized in the annals of taxonomical science; and in everyday botanical parlance the orchid will from then on be known as the 'Margret orchid'.