Splits, lumps, taxonomies, check-lists, whatever.

To: Robert Inglis <>
Subject: Splits, lumps, taxonomies, check-lists, whatever.
From: John Wright <>
Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2013 19:15:41 +0900
Good one, Bob! I second that motion...

At least in Australia, Europe and North America there is healthy
debate on Asia, it is pathetic - lots and lots of
"sub-species" that should be full species but will remain
"sub-species" until such time as the "western" authorities see fit to
get around to approving and accepting rather than dismissing or
ignoring research from this part of the world (mind you, research is
sadly lacking here). I daresay the same applies to Africa and Latin
America, although their closer proximity to the "Romes" of Ornithology
means at least there is some progress. Mind you in Japan, the
Yamashina Institute of Ornithology works about as fast as a tortoise
moves! A Japanese friend had a rarities sighting publication held up
for 2 years before it was finally accepted and approved, probably
because he was an "amateur" rather than an "academic", despite the
fact he is probably more knowledgeable than any ornithology professor
in the country. Unfortunately, he says that was the first and last
time he would ever try to have a rarities sighting officially
recognized - no doubt a sentiment shared by many expert non-academic
birders here.

But back to species vs sub-species, it should be very simple to
compare DNA and decide once an for all, and very quickly as well...but
I guess then at lot of ornithologists would be out of a job!



On Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 6:42 PM, Robert Inglis <> wrote:
> From all this passionate discussion on taxonomies I am assuming that someone 
> (or some committee) has finally come up with a viable, scientifically based 
> and universally accepted definition of “a species”.
> Would someone be so kind as to tell me what that definition is.
> Bob Inglis
> Sandstone Point
> Qld
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