To: Mark Clayton <>
Subject: Help!
From: Peter Cranston via Canberrabirds <>
Date: Sun, 4 Feb 2024 09:29:07 +0000
As an entomologist, in a subdiscipline in which there are relatively few 'common' / 'vernacular' names (except for Lepidoptera) we use the scientific (latinized) names.Their use is governed by regulations, and replacement names for valid, existing names are strongly regulated and near impossible to amend. But this is true also for the scientific names of birds.
What is going on here concerns the vernacular names, and only for those in english. Originally the proposals were to remove 'embarrassing' names - overviewed by a committee or four. It was immediately obvious that there would not be consensus on which taxa named for persons of  so-called ill repute needed to be renamed / excluded,  suddenly the proposal  was changed to ALL vernacular names for personages would  be 'corrected / renamed'. It is our choice as to whether we care enough, or continue to use vernacular names in whatever language we birdwatch in. For example, is anyone for changing any of the 50 or more taxa named 'attenboroughi' ?
I'm off  birding in Cambodia tomorrow, noting that no scientific / formal / latinized name has been derived from Pol Pot, indeed only Anas penelope is worrying my partner


On Sun, 4 Feb 2024 at 19:43, Mark Clayton via Canberrabirds <> wrote:

Why all this sudden decision to change all the names where people are concerned? It is going to get very messy in the long run and to me a complete waste of time!!




Sent from Mail for Windows


Sent: Sunday, 4 February 2024 6:57 PM
To: ;
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] Help!


Thanks David.  The draft ‘consultation plan’ seems very process-heavy.  It does entail consulting Birdlife Australia branches, among others.   I am no longer a formal participant in the coming project.


The adopted subspecies name that Birdlife is very proud of is ‘Mukarrthippi Grasswren’ (a made-up name) for the nominate subspecies of Striated Grasswren  - very few remaining in limited range, Yathong area.  The other name that has crept into use is ‘Kyloring’ for western subspecies of Ground Parrot..


From: Canberrabirds <> On Behalf Of David McDonald (Personal)
Sent: Sunday, February 4, 2024 6:35 PM
To: Canberrabirds list <>
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] Help!


Thanks Geoffrey. I agree, await more info from BLA.


That said, I find it irritating that, despite their promise to consult with the community, Birdlife Aust has unilaterally started changing English names. The much-discussed Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo they have reverted to the Pink Cockatoo, contrary to WLAB 4.3: . And somewhere in their material a species had been given an Aboriginal name – can’t find it at present at a quick search.


Best wishes – David


From: Canberrabirds <> On Behalf Of Geoffrey Dabb via Canberrabirds
Sent: Sunday, February 4, 2024 9:03 AM
To: 'Martin Butterfield' <>; 'cog chatline' <m("","canberrabirds");" target="_blank">>
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] Help!


Yes, I think I have mentioned the parallel Australian initiative.  There’ve been some developments in the ongoing process, but perhaps best to wait for the formal Birdlife Australia announcement.  Oddly, Martin, Birdlife Australia believes they are actually ‘helping’ matters.  I am probably guilty of understatement when I say this will depend on your point of view.  Jack the Ripper probably thought he was helping, in his own way. 


From: Canberrabirds <> On Behalf Of Martin Butterfield via Canberrabirds
Sent: Sunday, February 4, 2024 7:34 AM
To: cog chatline <>
Subject: [Canberrabirds] Help!


We will need it when (note, not "if")  this idea takes over


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