A new version of the BARC Australian Checklist v2014Jan is
now available on the BARC website as a downloadable Microsoft Excel spreadsheet
(BARC_Australian_Checklist_v2014Jan.xls). The BARC Website is at:
Like previous versions, this checklist is intended to follow
the IOC World Bird Names checklist to the letter, in terms of species taxonomy,
scientific and English names, spelling and sequence. As with previous versions,
subspecies are not included. There are no intended deviations from the IOC list
(other than abbreviating it to species and Australia) and there are no novel
taxonomic opinions expressed by BARC in that regard.
This upgrade includes changes to the IOC list up to 14 Jan
2014 (Gill, F & D Donsker 2014; IOC World Bird List v 4.1;
If you download the spreadsheet you will find two
worksheets. One worksheet is the full v2014Jan. The second worksheet is an
upgrade tool for those who are already using the BARC Checklist (v2013July) and
would prefer to modify their personalised lists rather than start with a blank
checklist again. It contains a set of instructions for converting the old BARC
Checklist v2013July to this new v2014Jan. Upgrading involves inserting 3 new
species, replacing 3 rows due to changes, and moving the waterfowl, falcons and
parrots. The upgrade worksheet will also allow users to identify the changes
that have been made in v2014Jan.
Summary of changes:
One new species was split by the IOC some time ago but was
overlooked until recently. The Coconut Lorikeet is split from Rainbow Lorikeet
and it includes the subspecies caeruliceps from northern Torres Strait
(Saibai and probably Boigu).
Two species new for Australia have been accepted by BARC since
v2013July (Tristan Albatross and Buffy Fish Owl).
These changes bring the total Australian list to 921
confirmed species, 20 of which are extinct or extirpated.
There are also changes to the sequence affecting waterfowl,
falcons and parrots.
There are also updates to three other BARC lists, coinciding
with this new version of the checklist. All are available on the BARC website:
The “Unsubstantiated Species List” contains species which
might be added to the Australian list in the future, but which BARC has so far
not accepted. To qualify for inclusion there needs to be some evidence such as
published and unambiguous photos, reports of a museum specimen, a submission
that BARC is reviewing, etc.
The intention is that the BARC Australian Checklist will be
updated every 6 months (in Approximately January and July). The other three
lists will all be updated at the same time. The versions of each will be
identified by year and month as follows: [list]_v2014Jan.xls,
Why BARC Follows the
BARC has been following the IOC checklist to some extent
since 2006. Prior to that BARC had followed Christidis & Boles (1994) for
species already recorded in Australia and Sibley & Monroe (1993) for
species that might be new to Australia. By 2006 both these lists were out of
date and Dr Walter Boles (from the former Taxonomic Advisory Committee of Birds
Australia) recommended that BARC follow the then new IOC list instead. Soon
after that Christidis & Boles (2008) was published, so BARC followed that
for species already recorded in Australia and the IOC for potential new
species. However, Christidis & Boles (2008) became dated much faster than
its predecessor, not least of all due to increased birding close to Asia and
frequent reports of Asian species not treated in Australian texts.
By 2011 C&B (2008) was well out of date and it was
inconvenient for BARC to follow two checklists that sometimes clashed.
Therefore BARC decided to prepare an Australian list based on a world-wide list.
We did not automatically choose the IOC list as the base list, but considered a
number of criteria. We wanted a base list that covered the whole world, was
widely used, was dynamic and frequently updated, was publicly available for
free (non-commercial), had transparent decision making processes, and provided
potential for some input from Australia. The Clements and Howard & Moore
(etc) checklists are produced for commercial purposes and therefore potentially
unsuitable for BARC to copy. The Birdlife International checklist is, like the
IOC checklist, downloadable from the internet, and it ran a close second.
However, the taxonomic decisions in that checklist are made by staff at
Birdlife International in the UK and there seems to be no process for outside
input. It is an aim of BARC that there should be some Australian input into our
country’s checklist and we hope to contribute to the IOC checklist process in
some manner in the future.
The IOC World Bird List site contains more information about
the open processes, dynamic revisions and cooperative approach of the IOC
checklist system. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
The BARC Australian Checklist v1 was first released in
November 2011 and this current version is the 4thupdate.
Good birding to you all,
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