• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

New official Checklist of the birds of Germany sparks debate (1 Viewer)

Sangahyando

Well-known member
That's the problem: It is used by dozens of institutions. If I and others just ignore it, many false and stupid things will happen.

Supposedly the new edition of Collins Bird Guide (Kosmos here) is supposedly already printed with new German names. I believe the book and the publisher will suffer from this.

The platform ornitho.de is formally required to follow the new decisions, too. But how do you implement changes that have no followership? If you want to report a Curlew will the entry mask change from "Großer Brachvogel" to "Brachvogel (Großer Brachvogel)"? How senseless is this?

Will fundings for reintroduction schemes for e.g. Ural Owl and Bald Ibis seize, once the species are classified as category C and thus as alien species? Not unlikely! We need a category A2 or something!!!

How are the relationships between different committees affected? Swiss and Austrian committees are already angry as they have had absolutely no say in the name changes. Nature conservation organisations are pissed, having to explain completely unnecessary changes to names such as Ziegenmelker. Members of their own committee didn't want to be mentioned as authors as they felt ignored and duped!
The whole process is so unnecessary, intransparent and inconsistent that there's major tension between ornithologist organisations.
And this is basically all just because of very few people who make these decisions, who think they know better than anybody else and who are too self-indulgent to cooperate and follow their own rules! To be clear: I don't think the different committees and organisations are bad. I just think some people who made it into these are destroying them and action needs to be taken to throw them out!
I think maybe it is time to involve state authorities in this, before they bow to this latest fad (they are wont to adopt the language use from radical ideologues pushing for changes). Maybe a concerted move from conservation agencies together with the Swiss and Austrian committees and other interested parties will get them to ignore or refute the German committee's directives.
 

Maffong

Well-known member
As far as I know, something along these lines is currently happening! Let's hope it will be successful.

Us birders are certainly not the only ones affected by this list!
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
Will fundings for reintroduction schemes for e.g. Ural Owl and Bald Ibis seize, once the species are classified as category C and thus as alien species? Not unlikely! We need a category A2 or something!!!
That's one that I've thought should apply in Britain too - reintroductions of regionally extinct species (e.g. Capercaillie) are currently placed in a subcategory of C, but I reckon, since ecologically they 'belong', they should be a subcategory of A.
 

Maffong

Well-known member
The linked document in the first post of this thread includes German, scientific and also english names, so that should work, shouldn't it?
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Poland
The linked document in the first post of this thread includes German, scientific and also english names, so that should work, shouldn't it?

Well it certainly should! How did I miss it in it for the first time, that is a completely different question ...

Maybe you hacked the webpage and changed it to make me look bad. Or maybe there is another plausible explanation, but I don't want to hear it!

edit: facetiousness aside, I am confused. You say in the OP that for example Bar-headed Goose is now E, but the linked file has it C...
 
Last edited:

opisska

Jan Ebr
Poland
Another problem is how different countries treat C species like Ruddy Shelduck, Canada Goose etc. Dutch currently include no exotic species in their list (not even Pheasant), Germans have quite clear criteria, while other countries seem to have none whatsoever - and we are talking of contiguous populations.

Can you elaborate on the Dutch comment, please? Because my search has led me to the current list: https://www.dutchavifauna.nl/static/images/page/webprog20160501-103.pdf and it continues to list all the "classic" Dutch C's.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
That's one that I've thought should apply in Britain too - reintroductions of regionally extinct species (e.g. Capercaillie) are currently placed in a subcategory of C, but I reckon, since ecologically they 'belong', they should be a subcategory of A.

Concur.

John
 

Maffong

Well-known member
Well it certainly should! How did I miss it in it for the first time, that is a completely different question ...

Maybe you hacked the webpage and changed it to make me look bad. Or maybe there is another plausible explanation, but I don't want to hear it!

edit: facetiousness aside, I am confused. You say in the OP that for example Bar-headed Goose is now E, but the linked file has it C...

Bar-headed is now in C5, meaning only birds from the Dutch population could be counted. Birds in Germany have been demoted to E, eventhough I wouldn't be surprised if they form a bigger shared population. I've seen groups of up to a dozen in North-Rhine Westphalia, not granting them C1 status is just ridiculous. Below is map of the observations in 2018
 

Attachments

  • Unbenannt.jpg
    Unbenannt.jpg
    101.4 KB · Views: 27

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
That's one that I've thought should apply in Britain too - reintroductions of regionally extinct species (e.g. Capercaillie) are currently placed in a subcategory of C, but I reckon, since ecologically they 'belong', they should be a subcategory of A.

The American Birding Association has recently changed there rules to allow countability of native introduced birds, as long as some degree of successful reproduction has happened. So birders can now count California Condor and Aplomado Falcon to their ABA list, something virtually impossible until recently beyond the oldest living birders, excepting a few vagrant Aplomados.
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
I don't post as much as I used to...pre-tenure is rough on the time allotted to birding, and and living in a cold snowy climate isn't a great motivator.

That said:

A comment about how the science is not up to debate, even if the author perhaps had different intentions behind his quote, is pretty laughable, as a large amount of checklist work is subjective and art. And not even common names, which seem to garner the most anger in any checklist update. Where you draw the lines between species, genera, and higher levels of classification often are based on subjective criteria, whether it be:

the number of studies or statistical support to consider a higher taxonomic question settled (for instance, where and how the different families are related to one another)

subjective sense of distinctiveness (age of divergences, how morphologically and biogeographically distinct something is, what preserves the most stable classification),

and what species concepts you use (PSC versus BSC) and what your cut off limit is (how much interbreeding before you lump, how distinctive genetically and/or morphologically before you split).

Same applies to countability criteria. How much evidence do you need to consider something a true vagrant? Do you count ship-assisted? What criteria do you use in determination of establishment for introduced species, and do you treat a native reintroduced species the same as a completely foreign taxa

Birders continually scrap over all of these issues, most of which really come down to subjective opinions, rather than some sort of empirical truth grounded in reality.
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
One final comment:

I used to be very pro standardization of names, but really I have gotten to the point of "I don't really care"

Some standardization is needed within a country. Birders in New York and Florida need to be able to communicate with one another, as does a birder in London vs Yorkshire. But a large percentage of the birding population won't really do any or very little traveling outside their country, and the folks who are traveling a lot are also the types of folks who are not likely to be confused on differences in nomenclature. Reserve common name changes for when you have splits that are going to confuse folks, but otherwise let it be.
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
The American Birding Association has recently changed there rules to allow countability of native introduced birds, as long as some degree of successful reproduction has happened. So birders can now count California Condor and Aplomado Falcon to their ABA list, something virtually impossible until recently beyond the oldest living birders, excepting a few vagrant Aplomados.
Is that with the meaning that they 'count' for more than established introduced species, such as House Sparrow?

Over here, reintroduced native Capercaillie and introduced exotic Little Owl are currently both countable, but only as "second-rate" Category C; what I'd like to see is for reintroduced natives to be put back into Category A.
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
The ABA doesn't use categories. It's either on the list or it isn't. California Condor was on the list as a code 6, which mean extinct and not countable. it's no longer listed as that.
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
They are levels of rarity

Here is the description from ebird:

"Code 1 and Code 2: Regularly occurring North American avifauna.
Includes regular breeding species and visitors. There is no firm designation between Code 1 and Code 2 species, except that logically Code 1 species are more widespread and are usually more numerous. Code 2 species have a restricted North American range, are more widespread, but occur in lower densities, or are quite secretive making their detection often difficult. We readily acknowledge that some Code 2 species are harder to find than some species that have higher codes.

Code 3: Rare.
Species that occur in very low numbers, but annually, in the ABA Checklist Area. This includes visitors and rare breeding residents.

Code 4: Casual.
Species not recorded annually in the ABA Checklist Area, but with six or more total records—including three or more in the past 30 years—reflecting some pattern of occurrence.

Code 5: Accidental.
Species that are recorded five or fewer times in the ABA Checklist Area, or fewer than three records in the past 30 years.

Code 6: Cannot be found.
The species is probably or actually extinct or extirpated from the ABA Checklist Area, or all survivors are held in captivity (or releases are not yet naturally re-established).
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top