Pacific Gull

To: "Tim Dolby" <>
Subject: Pacific Gull
From: "Tim Dolby" <>
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2008 15:52:26 +1000
Hi all,

Just for a bit of fun (it's Friday after all) I thought I'd question the 
appropriateness of the name of the Pacific Gull.

Recently Grant Brosie asked about the status of Pacific Gull in NSW. Basically 
it seems that they are uncommon to rare in NSW. NSW borders the Pacific Ocean. 
By contrast they are common in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western 
Australia. From what I can gather only the west coast of Victoria and Tasmania 
borders the Pacific Ocean (I could be wrong, in which case everything I'm 
saying is wrong). The rest of these areas either border the India Ocean / or 
Southern Ocean - and the Pacific Gull is common in an area known as Bass Striat.

So the question is why is it called a Pacific Gull? Surely it should be called 
something else!

For example the Atherton Scrubwren is called the Atherton Scrubwren because 
it's found on the Atherton Tableland, the Chatham Albatross is a Chatham 
Albatross because it breeds on the Chatham Islands. Similarly the Northern 
Scrub-Robin is called a a Northern Scrub-Robin because it's found in northern 
Australia, and the Southern Scrub-Robin... well you get the idea.

So, here are some suggestion as alternative names for the Pacific Gull (Larus 
pacificus), most of which are stupid:

  Bass Strait Gull
  Great Southern Gull or just Southern Gull
  Victorian Gull
  Tasmanian Gull
  South Australian Gull (maybe not)
  Western Australian Gull
  Indian Ocean Gull
  Large-billed Gull (although Larus crassirostris, the scientific
           name for the Black-tailed Gull, means large-billed gull)
  Very-large-billed Gull
    Red-tipped-billed Gull
  Large Black-backed Gull
  Pacific Gull (oh, hang on.. whoops)
  Australian Gull
  Simon (why not?)
  Dolby's Gull (because I thought about this in the first place!)


Tim Dolby

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