• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Lynx-BirdLife Taxonomic Checklist (1 Viewer)

jmorlan

Hmmm. That's funny
Opus Editor
United States
HBW Green-backed Heron question.

In reviewing the Tobias scoring for Green-backed Heron, their point that splitting Green Heron leaves South American populations conspecific with old world taxa is valid, but their opinion that such an arrangement is "improbable" would benefit from further explanation. Doesn't their adopted taxonomic arrangement do exactly the same "improbable" thing, i.e. lump South American birds with old world taxa?
 

Richard Klim

-------------------------
Ibis

Cheke 2015. Book reviews: del Hoyo, J. & Collar, N.J. Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Ibis 157(1): 205–207. [pdf]
 

Snapdragyn

Well-known member
HBW Alive now provides a list of non-passerine splits adopted in Illustrated Checklist 1 (wrt HBW 1–7, not wrt BirdLife Checklist v6), with species account update status:

I've started reading through these, and some are... 'interesting', to say the least.

A particular case in point: http://www.hbw.com/species/cuviers-toucan-ramphastos-cuvieri

Total score is 7, the threshold value for a split. The score of 1 for a 'broad hybrid zone'... erm, the 'broad hybrid zone' is basically 1/3 of the range of the combined forms south of the Amazon! If this is recognized as a cline (certainly seems more appropriate to me), then the score for hybrid zone drops to 0, the total score drops to 6, & the taxon is not split.

Really, I like the concept of a scoring system for use when we have nothing else to go on (i.e. allopatry) - but using it to split forms which are practically shouting 'we don't distinguish each other as separate biological entities!'? Hrm. :/
 

Richard Klim

-------------------------
Taxonomic politics

Prior to publication of the new checklist, BirdLife assured that "an open and transparent process will be established by which anyone can provide information or comments to inform regular updates to the list".

After publication, BirdLife provided (on 4 Aug 2014) comprehensive guidelines to a process whereby the ornithological community could suggest taxonomic revisions, and posted 100+ family-specific pages on the Globally Threatened Bird Forums to serve as a feedback mechanism. These pages were abruptly removed from the BirdLife website without explanation on 21 Aug.

I get the impression that BirdLife retrospectively concluded that it would be unhelpful to invite review and criticism of its controversial taxonomy – especially given that IUCN had already been persuaded to adopt it in full. It now seems to be very much a fait accompli...
 
Last edited:

MJB

Well-known member
Prior to publication of the new checklist, BirdLife assured that "an open and transparent process will be established by which anyone can provide information or comments to inform regular updates to the list".

After publication, BirdLife provided (on 4 Aug 2014) comprehensive guidelines to a process whereby the ornithological community could suggest taxonomic revisions, and posted 100+ family-specific pages on the Globally Threatened Bird Forums to serve as a feedback mechanism. These pages were abruptly removed from the BirdLife website without explanation on 21 Aug.

I get the impression that BirdLife retrospectively concluded that it would be unhelpful to invite review and criticism of its controversial taxonomy – especially given that IUCN had already been persuaded to adopt it in full. It now seems to be very much a fait accompli...

We could do with 'an open and transparent' rationale for their actions...
MJB
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
After publication, BirdLife provided (on 4 Aug 2014) comprehensive guidelines to a process whereby the ornithological community could suggest taxonomic revisions, and posted 100+ family-specific pages on the Globally Threatened Bird Forums to serve as a feedback mechanism. These pages were abruptly removed from the BirdLife website without explanation on 21 Aug.
Do you have the URL for the temporary pages? If lucky, they might have been harvested by Wayback and be archived there :t:
 

Richard Klim

-------------------------
Do you have the URL for the temporary pages? If lucky, they might have been harvested by Wayback and be archived there :t:
The original links (BirdLife, 4 Aug 2014)...
 
Last edited:

l_raty

laurent raty
Neither is archived.
But the whole thing was clearly fishy from the start. If you produce a book, you don't involve yourself in making its content deprecated before it is even sold...
 

Richard Klim

-------------------------
But the whole thing was clearly fishy from the start. If you produce a book, you don't involve yourself in making its content deprecated before it is even sold...
Indeed. On several occasions I expressed scepticism about the merits of enshrining a novel taxonomy in a lavish and expensive book, and only then inviting suggestions for taxonomic revisions. It would have been far more logical to allow a couple of years for open review of BirdLife's revised taxonomy before committing the illustrated checklist to print. But I guess the attraction of a new revenue stream from print sales was ultimately considered to outweigh the benefits of adopting a more measured approach.
 

MJB

Well-known member
Indeed. On several occasions I expressed scepticism about the merits of enshrining a novel taxonomy in a lavish and expensive book, and only then inviting suggestions for taxonomic revisions. It would have been far more logical to allow a couple of years for open review of BirdLife's revised taxonomy before committing the illustrated checklist to print. But I guess the attraction of a new revenue stream from print sales was ultimately considered to outweigh the benefits of adopting a more measured approach.

How about a Klim et al integrative taxonomy, giving an'open and transparent rationale', whereby scores will be awarded from a table of authors (aka 'bible'), whose base rating is adjusted + or - per author per paper? Authors' scores automatically would be adjusted after each paper, depending on how it is rated by Bird Forum members...;)

It would be just about as effective as any other, surely?o:D
MJB
 

Richard Klim

-------------------------
Mike, as an ex-physicist, I'm just a rather bemused but fascinated observer – completely unqualified to comment on individual taxonomic decisions. But sometimes the associated politics and posturing are actually more intriguing than the taxonomy... ;)
 

MJB

Well-known member
Mike, as an ex-physicist, I'm just a rather bemused but fascinated observer – completely unqualified to comment on individual taxonomic decisions. But sometimes the associated politics and posturing are actually more intriguing than the taxonomy... ;)

Then, Richard, you may like the book I recommended in the thread on favourite books of 2014...:t:
MJB
 
Many thanks to the eagle-eyed BirdForum users for all comments posted so far on this mammoth thread.

We would like to reassure BirdForum users that we are still wholly committed to implementing an open and transparent process by which anyone can provide information or comments to inform regular updates to the BL/HBW taxonomic list.

At the moment we’re still working on the best mechanism for people to provide their feedback – which we very much welcome - and we aim to resolve this in early 2015. We would like to apologise for the delay in getting this process up and running.

We did initially create feedback pages on the BirdLife forums for the non-passerine families in August, and these were publically viewable for a short time. We subsequently decided to remove these with a view to potentially hosting them on the HBW website instead, giving the opportunity for better links and functionality than the BirdLife forum site (the final platform to be used is still under discussion).

At the time there had been no comments on the pages and we had not yet actively publicised them, so we didn't think that their appearance and sudden disappearance would cause such intrigue and alarm!

Hopefully this clears up any confusion.

Best wishes to all for the holiday period,
BirdLife International / Lynx Edicions
 

Richard Klim

-------------------------
We would like to reassure BirdForum users that we are still wholly committed to implementing an open and transparent process by which anyone can provide information or comments to inform regular updates to the BL/HBW taxonomic list...
Many thanks for the clarification. The fact that BirdLife's PR operation is usually so professional made it particularly surprising that the checklist revision policy was posted and then so quickly withdrawn without comment. But it's reassuring to learn that BirdLife instead plans to invite suggestions for taxonomic revisions during 2015 (despite effectively freezing the proposed non-passerine taxonomy for several years in a 185€ hard-copy publication). Hopefully a more consensual approach could be considered for Volume 2.
 

johnallcock

Well-known member
Is anything published about which (if any) species were considered and assessed but were found not to achieve the requirements for a split? Or will this be provided in the feedback mechanism mentioned earlier?

I ask because I was surprised to find that White-faced Plover had been split from Kentish Plover, but there is nothing mentioned on the Lesser Sand Plover complex in HBW Alive. The two groups of LSP subspecies (i.e. mongolus/stegmanni and atrifrons/pamirensis/schaeferi) are rather distinctive in plumage and structure so it would be interesting to see what score these would achieve if assessed. There has supposedly been a decline in mongolus/stegmanni on the wintering grounds at least, and there is a good chance that if split the resulting species would warrant listing by BirdLife
 
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
Warning! This thread is more than 4 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.

Users who are viewing this thread

Top