IN MEMORIAM: DIOSCORO S. RABOR, 1911-1996

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Dioscoro S. Rabor, preeminent Philippine zoologist and conservationist for more than half of the 20th century, died 25 March 1996 in College, Laguna, Luzon, Philippines after a prolonged illness that prevented him from conducting the field work he loved so much. He is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Lina N. Florendo Rabor, five of their six children, and 11 grandchildren. Joe Rabor was born in Cebu City, Philippines, on 18 May 1911. He received his B.S. (1932) and M.S. (1934) from the University of the Philippines and worked toward his Ph.D. in 1957-58 at Yale University under S. Dillon Ripley. He received an honorary Sc.D. from Silliman University in 1974. Although he is best known for his work with birds and mammals, his scientific expertise included ichthyology and herpetology as well. His teaching and professional experience included some 30 positions, with professorships at Silliman University, 1947 to 1967; Mindanao State University, 1967 to 1975; and the College of Forestry, University of the Philippines at Los Bafios (UPLB), 1975 to 1976. He served as Project Director for the Migratory Animal Pathological Survey (U.S. Army, SEATO Medical Project) for the central and southern Philippines from 1964 to 1970, and, after his retirement, as a consultant in Wildlife Biology and Management at UPLB until he became ill in 1992. Rabor’s passion for nature consumed his whole life-and the lives of his family as well. From 1935 to 1977, he led more than 50 expeditions into the forests of 25 islands in the Philippine Archipelago. Lina joined him on most of these trips, and as each child was born, they came along too! Each of their four daughters is named after a bird (Iole Irena, Nectarinia Juliae, and Ardea Ardeola) or a fish (Alectis Cyrene), and all became physicians. His series of expeditions with family and students resulted in the most thorough documentation of the birds and mammals of the Philippines ever. His field catalog for birds alone approached 60,000 entries, with most of his specimens deposited in the Field Museum of Natural History (FMNH), Yale Peabody Museum (YPM), Delaware Museum of Natural History (DMNH), Smithsonian Institution (USNM), Rabor Memorial Collection at UPLB (some 10,316 birds), and American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). To date, 69 new bird taxa, including 8 species (5 described by Rabor with Ripley or Austin L. Rand) and 61 subspecies(39 by Rabor and Rand, Ripley, or John E. duPont), have been named from Rabor’s collections. Two species, Napothera rabori (Rand, Fieldiana Zoology 39:377-378, 1960) and Aethopyga linaraborae (Kennedy, Gonzales, and Miranda, Auk 114:1-10, 1997), have been named after Joe or Lina. An equally impressive list of new mammal species resulted from his field efforts as well. During his career, he authored no fewer than 87 scientific and popular books and articles, coauthoring 10 with Rand, 8 with Ripley, and 3 with duPont. Included among the accolades of Rabor’s career were a Fulbright Fellowship to the FMNH, Guggenheim Fellowships to FMNH and YPM, and research associateships with YPM, FMNH, USNM, DMNH, and the Bernice P. Bishop Museum in Honolulu. He was a member of the planning committees for the following International Ornithological Congresses: XIV, Oxford, 1966; XV, The Hague, 1970; and XVI, Canberra, 1974. He joined the AOU in 1951 and was elected a Corresponding Fellow in 1958.