FW: [canberrabirds] The Debate Continues

To: "" <>
Subject: FW: [canberrabirds] The Debate Continues
From: Geoffrey Dabb <>
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2017 22:58:45 +0000

Yes Noel, that’s why it’s called a debate.  The case for the Tobias species criteria is set out in the introduction to Vol I of the HBW/BLI Checklist.  There is a good summary of the contrary viewpoint in relation to WLAB  in South Australian Ornithologist December 2016 but the PDF is slightly too large to circulate here


From: Noel Luff [
Sent: Monday, 13 March 2017 9:06 AM
To: Martin Butterfield
Cc: Geoffrey Dabb; COG List
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] The Debate Continues


As a complete novice in these matters, I am going where angels fear to tread.

I recall the talk given by Leo Joseph last year in which he was somewhat dismissive of the Tobias criteria for determining species. He held up as an example the splitting of the Masked Lapwing into the Masked Lapwing (northern race) and the Black-shouldered Lapwing (southern race). This is how it is treated in the HBW/Birdlife International checklist.

I also note that Leo Joseph contributes to the other two taxonomy list (Clements (e-Bird) and IOC).


On Sun, Mar 12, 2017 at 2:42 PM, Martin Butterfield <> wrote:

It is a great pity that the authors of this paper didn't cite the Tobias criteria which seem absolutely crucial to working out the merits - other than on the basis of "trust me I'm an ornithologist"- of the arguments advanced.  Of course, the original paper is hidden behind a paywall so only those in academia can see the wonders it contains.


I note that, but for a missing 'tte' I could be related to the author!




On 12 March 2017 at 14:13, Geoffrey Dabb <> wrote:

Further to my talk last Wednesday on bird names and global lists my attention had been drawn to the attached article.  This represents only one side in an increasingly pointed debate.  However it is the side that claims ‘bird conservation’ as its main priority and holds  the viewpoint that underlies the present Birdlife Australia and COG bird lists.



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