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

To: "Frank O'Connor" <>
Subject: Splits, lumps, taxonomies, check-lists, whatever.
From: Dave Torr <>
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2013 07:23:06 +1100
Good comments Frank.

I think a key is that all databases etc should be recording subspecies -
and many unfortunately don't. If subspecies are recorded then splits can be
handled very easily - if not then it is sometimes possible to process a
split based on location (eg Shrike-tit) but often impossible. Lumps of
course (which seem much rarer these days!) of course present no real issues
for recording birds - except that hopefully the system that is used records
the new subspecies that is created by the lump, which will help if/when a
split occurs!

On 7 January 2013 00:00, Frank O'Connor <> wrote:

> Thanks to Bob Inglis for discussing this.  It is a subject that needs to
> be revisited annually.
> A few comments on his detailed contribution.
> C&B2008 is not the only "Australian" taxonomy.  The CSIRO has one, which
> is used by the Australian Government in legislation.  In Western Australia,
> the WA Museum has its own (which I believe is used in WA government
> legislation).  It is not a simple task to change the taxonomy for the
> Australian or WA governments.  This could very well mean that legislation
> needs to be amended to reflect the changes.
> It is not a simple decision for BirdLife Australia to adopt a new
> taxonomy.  I believe that BARC has recommended that BA adopt a "living"
> taxonomy, and has suggested the IOC rather than the BirdLife International
> taxonomy.  BA has many projects such as the Atlas.  It is quite a big task
> to change the taxonomy for projects such as that.  It is not something that
> you want to do every 3 months or so when the IOC issues an update.  Even
> annually.  It is not just a case of reprinting forms.
> Bob mentions that he wants it mostly to be able to name his photos.  I
> have my own photos, and I also catalogue the photos for the BirdLife WA
> digital image library.  I name the photos such as "Restless Flycatcher
> nana" and "Restless Flycatcher inquieta".  This really isn't a big deal
> when the taxonomy is updated.  The big deal is that the order of everything
> changes.  The order of the families, and the order within the families.
>  This requires a lot of work changing bird lists, spreadsheets, folders,
> etc.
> So we need to accept that taxonomies change (and that this is a good
> thing); that there will be different taxonomies (and this can't be
> avoided); that BA will at some point update its taxonomy (to reflect
> changes such as Swan River Honeyeater, Western Ground Parrot, Western
> Grasswren, Western Quail-thrush, etc) but that it won't do it very often;
> and this discussion will (properly) reoccur at fairly frequent intervals on
> birding-aus.
> ______________________________**______________________________**_____
> Frank O'Connor           Birding WA
> Phone : (08) 9386 5694              Email : 
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