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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Gruiformes and Charadriiformes (1 Viewer)

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
No, I didn't find what I was looking for, although skimming through the paper I did manage to answer my own questions and on some TiF decisions.

Random comments:

Not sure I feel comfortable splitting apart Calidris. While in theory I don't mind cryptic genera, to me the degree of morphological similarity makes me question the merit of finely splitting apart the genus as currently recognized. I could be convinced, but given this seems to be going against the tide of prevailing thought by other taxonomic bodies I will wait and see.

I'd been on the fence on whether Sternidae and Pluvianellidae warrant family status, so I am happy to see TiF agree with my own gut instincts for both groups. I do also find it interesting that while they haven't gone through with it, TiF is also in a "wait and see" situation on whether or not Scolopacidae should be split up into multiple families or whether oystercatchers and stilts/avocets deserve to be a single family. My gut tells both of those options are probably more correct, but I will let someone make that call first before updating my checlist

I don't buy noddies as being the sister group to gulls. Their doesn't seem to be strong support for either a closer relationship with Sternidae or a closer relationship with Laridae (or possibly being sister to both). Even the authors of the paper responsible for many of these changes highlight this as an unstable part of the tree where more work is needed. If I was a betting man I would place money on these being closer to Sternidae than to Laridae.
 

andrew147

Well-known member
Not sure I feel comfortable splitting apart Calidris. While in theory I don't mind cryptic genera, to me the degree of morphological similarity makes me question the merit of finely splitting apart the genus as currently recognized. I could be convinced, but given this seems to be going against the tide of prevailing thought by other taxonomic bodies I will wait and see.

Can the maintenance of a single genus which includes Ruff, Surfbird, Curlew Sandpiper, Buff-breasted Sandpiper and Spoon-billed Sandpiper, amongst other disparate forms, really be justified by arguments of morphological similarity?

I'm similarly unpersuaded by arguments for a broad Calidris in terms of "nomenclatural stability" - in that most traditional Calidris will remain so. I can't get behind any taxonomy which does not treat Ruff in a monospecific genus!

In my personal list, I recognise the following:

Erolia himantopus/ferruginea

Eurynorhynchus subminutus/temminckii/ruficollis/pygmeus

Pelidna alba/alpina/ptilocnemis/maritima

Ereunetes bairdii/fuscicollis/minutillus/minutus/pusillus/mauri/melanotos

Tryngites subruficollis

Philomachus pugnax

Limicola acuminata/falcinellus
 

cajanuma

Well-known member
Can the maintenance of a single genus which includes Ruff, Surfbird, Curlew Sandpiper, Buff-breasted Sandpiper and Spoon-billed Sandpiper, amongst other disparate forms, really be justified by arguments of morphological similarity?

On the other hand, breaking up Calidris results in some arrangements that are hard to fathom. At least as a field birder, it's hard to believe that Least Sandpiper and Long-toed Stint are in separate genera, same for Semipalmated Sandpiper and Red-necked Stint. Sharp-tailed Sandpiper being sister to Broad-billed, and in a separate genus from Pectoral, is another suprising result.

Plus you'd have to change the title of what to me remains the greatest field identification article ever published: https://sora.unm.edu/sites/default/files/journals/nab/v038n05/p00853-p00876.pdf
 

andrew147

Well-known member
On the other hand, breaking up Calidris results in some arrangements that are hard to fathom. At least as a field birder, it's hard to believe that Least Sandpiper and Long-toed Stint are in separate genera, same for Semipalmated Sandpiper and Red-necked Stint. Sharp-tailed Sandpiper being sister to Broad-billed, and in a separate genus from Pectoral, is another suprising result.

Plus you'd have to change the title of what to me remains the greatest field identification article ever published: https://sora.unm.edu/sites/default/files/journals/nab/v038n05/p00853-p00876.pdf
I don't disagree with what you are saying - if the genetics are correct, there's some serious morphological conservatism going on in this group, though some of the less convincing details may be refined with more studies. But, for me, a broad Calidris is too heterogeneous and something as morphologically and behaviourally idiosyncratic as Ruff should not have been taken out of a monospecific genus - especially when this is supported by divergence time estimates (Černý and Natale (2021) have it as an isolated lineage for 19 million years). And if you start with a monospecific Philomachus, then, based on current understanding, the remainder must be carved up something akin to the genera I outlined above - though other genera could also be recognised (e. g. Micropalama, Leimonites, Crocethia).

Ultimately though, it does come down to personal preference - we're not all gonna agree and the differences in opinion make for interesting discussion.

And that is a great article, thanks!
 
Last edited:

Peter Kovalik

Well-known member
Slovakia
Calidris canutus

Yvonne I Verkuil, Erika Tavares, Patricia M González, Kristen Choffe, Oliver Haddrath, Mark Peck, Lawrence J Niles, Allan J Baker, Theunis Piersma, and Jesse R Conklin. Genetic structure in the nonbreeding range of rufa Red Knots suggests distinct Arctic breeding populations. Ornithological Applications, Published: 20 November 2021.
https://doi.org/10.1093/ornithapp/duab053

Abstract
An understanding of the migratory connectivity between breeding and nonbreeding areas is fundamental to the management of long-distance migrants under pressure from habitat change along their flyways. Here we describe evidence for genetic structure within the nonbreeding range of the endangered Arctic-Canadian rufa subspecies of Red Knots (Calidris canutus). Using blood and tissue samples from the major nonbreeding regions in Argentina (Tierra del Fuego and Río Negro), northern Brazil (Maranhão), and southeastern USA (Florida), we estimated genetic structure in 514 amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) loci, applying cluster assignment analyses in DAPC, assignPOP, and STRUCTURE. Using a priori location information, individuals could be correctly re-assigned to their nonbreeding regions, which validated that the assignment accuracy of the data was sufficient. Without using a priori location information, we detected 3–5 genotype clusters, and posterior assignment probabilities of samples to these genotype clusters varied among the three regions. Lastly a chi-square test confirmed that allele frequencies varied significantly among nonbreeding regions, rejecting the hypothesis that samples were drawn from a single gene pool. Our findings hint at undescribed structure within the Red Knot rufa breeding range in the Canadian Arctic and indicate that each rufa nonbreeding area in this study hosts a different subsample of these breeding populations. The observation that nonbreeding sites of rufa Red Knots contain different genetic pools argues for separate conservation management of these sites.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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