Don't we already have an official Checklist?

To: Carl Clifford <>
Subject: Don't we already have an official Checklist?
From: Allan Richardson <>
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2011 18:06:22 +1100
Hi all,

Just had a look at the Australian Faunal Directory and headed over for a look 
at the South Australian grasswrens. There are some up to date aspects, but the 
distributions maps for some ssp. do not appear to be accurate. The Short-tailed 
Grasswren ssp. distributions, as a case in point, appear to be wrong, since the 
map for the pedleri ssp. has it east of Port Augusta in the Flinders (should be 
west in the Gawlers I think), and ssp. merrotsyi is depicted from east of the 
Flinders (correct) and then all the way west to the SA/WA border, which is 
perhaps more than a little ambitious. Whether the distributions haven't been 
updated and refer to earlier literature references (of which there are a 
number) I cannot say, but it may indicate that a cautious approach needs to be 
taken with this list.

Furthermore, the list is based on scientific nomenclature, with no common names 
attached (unless you dig, and then not always given), which may not be user 
friendly for the bulk of Australian bird enthusiasts??

I have found government based lists to be a good guide over the years, but with 
the odd discrepancies (see below for one such glitch), and a bit of an 
inability to remain current (such things need someone who has their finger on 
the pulse dedicated to it, but with all the Enviro cutbacks we've seen lately, 
in NSW at least, lists can easily go wanting).

The picture in this NSW threatened species profile is a Bar-tailed Godwit and 
not a Black-tailed Godwit as captioned. Sensitively worded emails have not 
remedied this glitch, which has been on the website for over 5 years, even 
though there is feedback mechanism built into the website.

It is just my opinion, but I'd say that a dedicated birding organisation is the 
sort of body that is most likely to have the drive and expertise (financial 
resources may be another thing) to monitor and update an accurate Australian 
bird list.


Allan Richardson
Morisset, NSW

On 16/12/2011, at 11:19 AM, Carl Clifford wrote:

> Dear B-A,
> There have been quite a few post over time bemoaning the fact that there is 
> not an "official" Australian checklist. I have been somewhat puzzled by this. 
> The Australian Faunal Directory's Aves section (see  
>   ) seems to me to be fairly "official", what with it being administered by a 
> Federal government agency and funded by taxpayers money.
> Cheers,
> Carl Clifford
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