Masked Lapwing

Subject: Masked Lapwing
From: Chris Corben <>
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2012 20:55:02 -0500
Makes sense to me. I always assumed a lot of the story is that human alterations to habitat have favoured expansion of both species, breaking down their boundaries.

I have seen miles in the Brisbane Valley and also somewhere out in southwestern Queensland - perhaps Thargomindah or maybe Windorah. But in both cases, it seemed exceptional. Certainly in southeast Qld, miles is extremely rare. My assumption was that the case in the southwest was similar - lots of Spur-wings.

I seem to remember thinking their calls are different also.

Cheers, Chris.

On 06/06/2012 08:21 PM, John Penhallurick wrote:
HI friends,

I have been getting more and more suspicious that the lumping of Masked
Plover Vanellus miles and Spur-winged Plover Vanellus novaehollandiae is
unjustified.  Even Peters (1934), that super-lumper kept them separate.
They were merged on the basis of supposed interbreeding around Cairns and in
the Lake Eyre Basin. Now the thinking about the significance of
hybridisation has changed radically of late. Whereas in the past, even a few
hybirds were taken as evidence of conspecificity, now limited or very local
hybridisation is taken as evdidence that we are dealing with two distinct
species.  I had an email from a birder in Cairns who told me that the common
Vanellus there was miles. Novaehollandiae is rare, as are hybrids.  I
haven't been able to get any reliable data from the Lake Eyre Basin.
Birders rarely go there and none of the landholders knows anything about
birds.  But given the situation around Cairns, I would be very surprised if
it was very different around Lake  Eyre.  I know that an ornithologist from
the SA Museum, I think it was Shane Parker, brought back a set of hybrids
from that reason, but if he set out to collect just hybrids, this means

What do you thinK?


Dr John Penhallurick

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