Clements names

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Clements names
From: Phil & Sue Gregory <>
Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2008 21:00:52 +1000
Thanks to the various folks who responded to my comments about Clements, it is clear that without due representation on the appropriate committees the whole naming thing becomes vexatious. There are and always will be vernacular names, and long may they last, and yes the scientific name is the final decider and identifier, but nonetheless there is still a significant push for a standard set of global English names, which many scientists will use. It is seriously worth making submissions to the IOC about the value of the well established local names, before we get a set imposed on us. It's an issue that I have to deal with every time i do a tour....... the lack of local input was the great omission from Clements. I like the way the RAOU did a poll of the members for the common names and so retained White-necked Heron, Nankeen Kestrel, Nankeen Night Heron etc, not that the Americans paid any attention of course...... The Oriental Bird Club played a big part too in this renaming push, with their decision to do away with many of the historic patronyms/ matronyms and give descriptive names instead, which can be seen as mere political correctness and a sad loss of historic connections. I thought the loss of Wallace's Standardwing to the boring but lengthy and prosaic Standardwing Bird-of-Paradise a very retrograde step, especially for a bird which is not even in the Oriental region, but that's another story.........
Phil Gregory

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