Vernacular names

To: "Messages Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Vernacular names
From: "Bob Forsyth" <>
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 16:30:44 +1000
G'day all,

For those interested the "debate/poll/plebiscite/discussion/referendum/debate/rage" was published in the pages of Wingspan,

No.10,         Jun 1993,  p10-11    "Towards a new Australian Checklist"
No.11,         Sep 1993, p8,9         "Is the Tail wagging the dog ?"
No.12,         Dec 1993, p27          "The great debate"
No.13,         Mar 1994, p23-26     "REN or fairy-wren ? The debate continues"
No.14,        Jun 1994, p10            "Recommended English Names - a never ending story"
Vol5,No.1, Mar 1995, p20-23      "And the Winner is ..Recommended English Names"

A set of guidelines were published - I quote
There are a number of principles that were used in choosing English names in the 1977 list and it is worth repeating some of them here         - For species endemic to Australia, tra­ditional names or those widely used are respected.
- For species that range beyond Aus­tralia, the name most widely or authoritatively used is preferred.
- If taxonomic changes combine two or more former species, the name of the result should be the English name most fitting.
- If the name of an Australian species duplicates a well-established name overseas, it is desirable to change the Australian name.
- If a group-name misrepresents the tax­onomic affinities of a species it ought to be changed to one that does not do so.

    It is hoped ? realistically, we think ?that we can decide what names are to be used for Australian birds for all time, unless taxonomic decisions warrant a change. This is an opportunity for all members, friends and birdwatchers to have their say. Please send us your com­ments ? we welcome all letters and will try to publish some, but we need rea­soned debate
84 replies were received including all the major Birding Organisations.
A meeting was convened and attended by representatives from organisations including BOCA, NSW FOC,NSW ORAC,AAA,COG,RAOU Taxonomic Advisory Committee,Hanzab  plus Ken Simpson. Peter Slater's comments were considered. Graham Pizzey sent his apologies.
It does seem that the decision making process was democratic as practicable.
The decisions were documented and make good reading. I am sure all the Capital city libraries would have copies of the Wingspans.
Michael Hunter's last posting does containing some points to consider.
Regards, Bob Forsyth, Mount Isa, NW Qld.
Since then the Schodde and Mason splits have been promulgated and adopted into Hanzab without any general discussion of which I am aware. 
In fact the first recorders of the Kalkadoon Grasswren (who prefered  the name "Ballara Grasswren") were not consulted as to its use.
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