Australian Raven may be a candidate for splitting.

To: Steve Clark <>
Subject: Australian Raven may be a candidate for splitting.
From: Graeme Chapman <>
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2012 11:26:14 +1000
Hello Steve,

Thanks for showing an interest in ravens in W.A. etc.

It's a while since I lived there (left WA in 1984) so my memory for the details 
is not perfect.

So far as I (and anybody) know, nominate coronoides doesn't occur in W.A., but 
the Nullarbor is the key. Along with mellori, c. coronoides  occurs as far as 
the cleared farming country in S.A. that is somewhere about Penong.

The common corvid across the Nullarbor Plain is bennetti  but ravens do occur 
closer to the coast, about as far east as Eucla. - which ones is an interesting 
point, there are few specimens. The differences in specimens of perplexus  and 
coronoides  are not great, and when you take sexes and juveniles into account, 
it would need a good sample from the Nullarbor region and western S.A.  to sort 
out what is the case.

I wouldn't pay too much notice to the "data" in the BA Atlas - Corvids are 
probably the most mis-identified group in Australia - even the latest article 
in Australian Birdlife (Wingspan) has a few errors.

I feel confident that as soon as you reach Kalgoorlie, all the ravens would be 
perplexus. Heading north from Perth, ravens are replaced by Torresian Crows at 
the mulga/eucalypt line, on the coast road about 150 km north of Geraldton.

I assume you don't have access to Schodde and Mason's DIRECTORY (few people do, 
mores the pity - they only printed 1000 copies) so I am attaching copies of the 
relevant pages for coronoides.
Whether the Western Raven merits specific status is far from settled, otherwise 
it would have been done already. DNA is not the final word.

I hope this has been more help than hindrance.



On 22/06/2012, at 9:38 AM, Steve Clark wrote:

> G'day Graeme
> Thanks for your thoughts and reference to your site with calls.
> Are you suggesting that the 'Western' Raven is confined to the
> south-west corner and the birds elsewhere in WA are nominate
> coronoides?  Looking at the BA atlas data in Birdata there doesn't
> seem to be a gap along Highway 1 across the Nullabor.  Corvids are
> tricky however so how many of the dots are C. coronoides and how many
> are C. bennetti?  I must check my own records from our trip across in
> 1999 when I get home tonight.  From memory we allocated many to C.
> bennetti (but I've learned to put less trust in my memory these days).
> So, as you drive west and head into sw WA where do you think the
> 'Western' Raven first appears?  What about heading north from Perth?
> Cheers
> Steve


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