Australian owl taxonomy

To: <>
Subject: Australian owl taxonomy
From: "Murray Lord" <>
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 19:21:09 +1100
I saw a copy of the new edition of Owls of the World by Koenig and Weick in a 
shop yesterday.  The first edition, published about 8 years ago, treated the 
Tasmanian Masked Owl as a separate species (as a few world checklists have over 
the years).  This time they go a few steps further - they split the Southern 
Boobook into four species - the mainland Australian species, the New Zealand 
Morepork, a Tasmanian species and the red lurida boobook from north Queensland!

So two endemic owls for Tasmania, allegedly.  All of this is of course 
inconsistent with the Christidis and Boles treatment, but consistent with the 
rest of the Owls book where they split far more species than any previous 
treatment of the group.

The chapter of the book dealing with systematics is available for download at
It indicates that they examined genetic material from all the owls mentioned 
other than lurida.

Any opinions on this from owl researchers would be most welcome!


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