To: "" <>, "" <>
Subject: IOC
From: Phil Gregory <>
Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2017 04:18:58 +0000
Hello Michael,
 Have a look at <> which sets out 
the IOC homepage and gives details of who does what and where. Frank Gill is is 
the overall chair, ably assisted by Sally Conyne and David Donsker, and they 
call on a wide range of contacts from all sorts of disciplines, using 
scientists and also the input of citizen scientists/ dedicated amateurs who may 
have expertise relating to particular questions or species. Dick Schodde is one 
of the Australian experts on tap, you can see a listing on the homepage.

They review the torrent of literature that emerges, and make decisions based on 
available evidence, usually relating to peer-reviewed papers. Some things get 
accepted, others not, they even have holding categories for potential splits. 
They do not oversee genetic testing, these days that is just a part of the 
techniques used to make judgements on what constitutes a species.

English names are decided by a general consensus- if a name is felt to be 
inappropriate or could be improved then anyone can make a representation to 
them and see what follows. I recently got Makira Thrush adopted in place of San 
Cristobal Thrush for instance, and there has been a very long and gradual 
process of replacing names that were imposed without consultation, usually by 
Americans, or were felt to be unsuitable.

World checklist bodies these days really come down to 4:
IOC,  Updated avery 3 months
Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World (Dickinson et al 
2013 and 2014). No updates since publication, but highly authoritative for 
sources, though taxonomy quite conservative
Cornell/Clements Updated annually, good for New World species but more 
contentious for the Old World
HBW-BirdLIfe Passerines list just published, now the most liberal of them all 
with about 10965 species recognised. Updates promised to be regular and with 
consolation, but a work in progress as too early as yet
An interesting one to look at also is Taxonomy in Flux (TiF) by John Boyd, his 
own take on such matters and a stimulating read.

Hope this helps
Phil Gregory
ornithological writer/tour leader/tour facilitator
Field Guides / Sicklebill Safaris / Cassowary House / Cassowary Tours
PO Box 387
QLD 4881

Ph: +61 7 40 937 318

Email:  <>
Website1: <> 
OR <>
Website 2: 
Website 3: <>

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