RE: birding-aus Little Wattlebirds in Melbourne?

Subject: RE: birding-aus Little Wattlebirds in Melbourne?
From: "Peter Menkhorst"<>
Date: Fri, 6 Aug 1999 14:15:36 +1000

Re splitting Little Wattlebirds

Lawrie Conole wrote:
But I would imagine that until Les or anyone else publishes this, the
species remain lumped???  Otherwise we have zoological nomenclature by
hearsay.  Bring on HANZAB 6!!
You are quite correct Lawrie. The proposed changes must be published in a
refereed scientific journal, ie subject to peer review, and then exposed to
the scientific world so that the validity of the argument can be assessed.
Only then should proposed taxonomic changes be accepted for general use.
Until the suggested changes have been subjected to such a review process
they remain just that - suggestions, soundly based or otherwise.

Mere publication does not imply that the proposed changes will be taken up.
For example, a few years back a paper was published in a highly respected
journal recommending that the rodent genus Mastacomys be submerged into
Pseudomys. As far as I know, no other rodent people have accepted this
recommendation. Hence my assertion that Christidis and Boles remains the
official list until it is updated.

For birdwatching, this is all fairly irrelevant - there is no reason why
you cannot list/tick recognisable forms/subspecies, and Schodde and Mason
are about to provide us all with a definitive list of subspecific taxa -
all 1500 of them.

Peter Menkhorst

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