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AOU-NACC Proposals 2016 (1 Viewer)

mb1848

Well-known member
"The online checklist has been updated to incorporate the new changes, though whoever did the update forgot to update the sentence telling you that it's been updated:"
Thanks D for commenting. The taxonomy and nomenclature forum is pretty friendly place so please keep commenting. A fellow Canadian mentions a similar note on the ABA blog.
http://blog.aba.org/2016/07/2016-aou-supplement.html .
It might be useful for readers to know that the above article pertains to the 57th Supplement (this doesn't appear to be so stated anywhere in the article). The online AOU Checklist currently incorporates only the 56th Supplement. Does anyone know how long it normally takes for the recent changes to be incorporated into the online checklist? Alan Wormington.
 

LabradorDuck

Well-known member
I read through the comments, but didn't see any justification for postponing the decision on the Redpoll lump. Is there some in-progress research they are waiting on, or did they just need more time to think about it?
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!

thomasdonegan

Former amateur ornithologist
But presumably needs to be a member of AOU? Or at least, a citizen of USA? (or Canada??)

I can vouch that this is totally wrong (being neither and having had a few proposals submitted over the years). AOU needs / wants more proposals and they are very open to receiving and soliciting them from all sources.

There are bigger deterrants, frankly:

1. Remsen makes a point about authorship creditation for the committee, their hard work going unrewarded. At least AOU committee members get a nice juicy Auk paper periodically, for reading some stuff they probably would read anyway and saying Yes or No a few times. Proposal submitters get no reward beyond perhaps some feeling of influence (if successful). This sort of stuff is important enough and of sufficiently broader impact that personal gain probably ought not to be a motivating factor though.

2. A number of taxonomists think that publication in a peer reviewed journal ought to be enough and that they don't need AOU to back them up and/or don't care about whether birders follow their recommendations or not. So a number of people just ignore the whole process.

3. A lot of what is published by AOU members in their comments is or has been pretty rough, especially if e.g., you are not in their inner circle, publish mtDNA trees without more, do real world research without molecular data to back it up, say anything about the relevance of the research to conservation (=suspicious motives); and especially in SACC. This discourages proposals. Several active taxonomists I know have said that they are reluctant to submit proposals on that basis (and I've fallen into this camp myself recently).

Thomas
 
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mb1848

Well-known member
To MJB I had an outer-pedant and the Doctor said if I applied this ointment religiously it would go away.
Mike BlairJuly 19, 2016 at 3:07 AM
My apologies Van, but my inner pedant jibs at 'lesser of all evils', prompting me to do an on-line search for the phrase; nearly all hits were trumped (sorry for the connotations that such usage brings at present) by 'lesser of two evils' by a huge (should that be Yuuuge?) margin.

I agree that 'lesser' can reflect a group that is collectively greater, but if we had 'all evils' to consider, we would need 'least' as our modifier, and where would this leave 'Least Tern' and 'Least Sandpiper in future disputatious squabbles?
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
OK, here's some proposals for AOU; one taxonomic, and two (related) on English names

1. Split Larus brachyrhynchus (Mew Gull) from Larus canus (Common Gull). The two taxa are identifiable, genetically distinct, and do not intergrade or hybridise. References:
*Olsen, K. M., & Larsson, H. (2003). Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America. Helm.
*Adriaens, P., & Gibbins, C. (2016). Determinatie van het Larus canus complex. Dutch Birding 38 (1).

2. Change English names of Pluvialis apricaria, P. dominica and P. fulva to European Golden Plover, American Golden Plover and Pacific Golden Plover, respectively (i.e., remove hyphen). Reasons (a) doing so would bring AOU into line with other usage elsewhere, (b) "Plover" and "Golden-Plover" are not reciprocally monophyletic groups, as Pluvialis squatarola (Grey Plover / Black-bellied Plover) is more closely related to these species, than it is to other birds also called just "Plover" (e.g. Charadrius semipalmatus Semipalmated Plover). Therefore having a separate group called "Golden-Plovers" is misleading about phylogeny.

3. Likewise, change English names of Aphelocoma californica, A. coerulescens, A. insularis, and A. woodhouseii to California Scrub Jay, Florida Scrub Jay, Island Scrub Jay, and Woodhouse's Scrub Jay, respectively. As above, "Jay" and "Scrub-Jay" are not reciprocally monophyletic groups, with e.g. Aphelocoma wollweberi (Mexican Jay) being more closely related to these species, than it is to other birds also just called "Jay" (e.g. Cyanocitta cristata Blue Jay).
 

Kratter

Well-known member
OK, here's some proposals for AOU; one taxonomic, and two (related) on English names

1. Split Larus brachyrhynchus (Mew Gull) from Larus canus (Common Gull). The two taxa are identifiable, genetically distinct, and do not intergrade or hybridise. References:
*Olsen, K. M., & Larsson, H. (2003). Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America. Helm.
*Adriaens, P., & Gibbins, C. (2016). Determinatie van het Larus canus complex. Dutch Birding 38 (1).

2. Change English names of Pluvialis apricaria, P. dominica and P. fulva to European Golden Plover, American Golden Plover and Pacific Golden Plover, respectively (i.e., remove hyphen). Reasons (a) doing so would bring AOU into line with other usage elsewhere, (b) "Plover" and "Golden-Plover" are not reciprocally monophyletic groups, as Pluvialis squatarola (Grey Plover / Black-bellied Plover) is more closely related to these species, than it is to other birds also called just "Plover" (e.g. Charadrius semipalmatus Semipalmated Plover). Therefore having a separate group called "Golden-Plovers" is misleading about phylogeny.

3. Likewise, change English names of Aphelocoma californica, A. coerulescens, A. insularis, and A. woodhouseii to California Scrub Jay, Florida Scrub Jay, Island Scrub Jay, and Woodhouse's Scrub Jay, respectively. As above, "Jay" and "Scrub-Jay" are not reciprocally monophyletic groups, with e.g. Aphelocoma wollweberi (Mexican Jay) being more closely related to these species, than it is to other birds also just called "Jay" (e.g. Cyanocitta cristata Blue Jay).

Here are the guidelines for submitting a proposal to the NACC:
http://www.aou.org/committees/nacc/proposals/proposal_guidelines.php

You can go back and look at old proposals and see how they were written and how they fared.

Andy
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
Here are the guidelines for submitting a proposal to the NACC:
http://www.aou.org/committees/nacc/proposals/proposal_guidelines.php

Aha! That's where the real barriers to submissions lie! If they want more submissions, they need to make the submission process less overbearing, so that a simple 50-word submission (like mine above) is treated as seriously as the lengthy ones they seem to want. Seems you also have to have an 'affiliation' (i.e., paid position at a major research / educational establishment), ordinary birders acting out of amateur interest not wanted :t:
 

Mike Earp

Well-known member
Nutcracker said:
Split Larus brachyrhynchus (Mew Gull) from Larus canus (Common Gull). The two taxa are identifiable, genetically distinct, and do not intergrade or hybridise. References:
*Olsen, K. M., & Larsson, H. (2003). Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America. Helm.
*Adriaens, P., & Gibbins, C. (2016). Determinatie van het Larus canus complex. Dutch Birding 38 (1).

HBW suggests things are not so straightforward. Any proposal would have to address all the taxa and their historical treatments.
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
HBW suggests things are not so straightforward. Any proposal would have to address all the taxa and their historical treatments.

The HBW details are only minimally updated from the print edition (1996) so are very out of date (no genetic data).

"Any proposal would have to address all the taxa and their historical treatments" - that's all covered in the two references; I don't think it should be necessary to duplicate what's in the references for the proposal, as the committee members will be studying the references anyway. It just makes putting forward the proposal unnecessarily complex.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
I don't think it should be necessary to duplicate what's in the references for the proposal, as the committee members will be studying the references anyway. It just makes putting forward the proposal unnecessarily complex.

A very general experience in life: if you want to achieve something, make it as easy as possible for the people that matter to agree with you. That includes in this case to write a decent synthesis of what the two papers (and those that preceded them) says.

Niels
 

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