Subject: terminology
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2005 16:31:21 +1100

I think this would be a useful discussion for COG committee, etc. I am not upset, either. It is hard to write quickly and succintly without sounding cranky :). I think we are on different wavelengths because there are two subjects for analysis.

-birds in an area

-species status across its distribution.


I don't have the ABR on me, but looking at the checklist of birds for the ACT which David M mentioned (website, based on the Birds of the ACT, the subject is clearly 'an area', The ACT in this case.


The first words (rare, common) refer to the likelihood of seeing a species in the ACT. The second tends to refer to the behaviour of the species eg vagrant, resident, migrant


To remove confusion it would be useful to remove the heading of 'status' on the website list.


Also, using 'rare, common' often confuses people because they mix up 'threatened status' with the 'liklihood' of seeing that species in 'an area'. It would be useful to replace this term, perhaps as suggested by Geoffrey Dabb with  A, B, C, D, but I would replace it with likelihood of observation, eg highly likely, likely, etc.


In the EPBC Act criteria for nominating species I am pretty sure it says that Threatened species may be those that occur sparsely over a large area, or MAY be common within a very restricted area. So using an analogous example if the 'subject' is 'an area', then beautiful firetails and ground parrots are 'common' at Barren grounds. Because you are 'likely' to see them in this area. The species status as a whole may still be threatened. You can use this same argument for 'the ACT'.

As a suggestion, To clarify the situation it may be useful to have three columns, being Liklihood of observation in ACT or AOI (likely, not likely), species behaviour (eg migrant, vagrant), and Species Status (eg endangered, vulnerable).


Benj Whitworth

Ps Martin, if the subject is the ACT or AOI rather than Canberra, then satin flycatchers and rufous songlarks may be common in ACT but still rarely reported. Satins seem common in Brindies, and Rufous songlarks seem common outside the suburbs. Oops, seem 'likely observations'.


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