Striated Grasswren taxonomy

To: Crispin Marsh <>, "" <>
Subject: Striated Grasswren taxonomy
From: martin cachard <>
Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2014 20:15:55 +1030
hi Peter,
i'm no taxonomist by any means but I personally believe there is some merit in 
splitting this species complex on a habitat preference basis...
it's a rather simplified way to look at it I know, but I've always looked at 
the sand-hill birds as being distinct from the rocky/stony substrate birds - 
this was one of the main factors I believe behind the Short-tailed being split 
originally from Striated group that we are talking about. 
so this would put rowleyi & whitei (rocky substrate dwellers) as distinct from 
striatus & oweni (sand-hill dwellers).
given the geographical distance between populations of rowleyi & whitei then 
this alone should warrant their case for being split from one another, however 
i'm less convinced that oweni should be split into species level from striatus 
as the ranges probably meet & maybe their differentiation is more clinal & 
gradual as a result...
this is just a field worker's point of view from a common sensical angle 
without any science behind it...
just a thought...
martin cachard,

> From: 
> To: 
> Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2014 12:10:29 +1000
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Striated Grasswren taxonomy
> Dear Birders,
> Some time ago on this forum Murray Lord drew attention to a paper proposing a 
> split in the Grasswren taxonomy including that of Striated Grasswren. The 
> Striated Grasswren splits the species four ways – Rowleyi (‘Rusty Grasswren’) 
> from western Queensland; whitei (‘Pilbara Grasswren’); oweni (‘Sandhill 
> Grasswren’) whose range is South Australia west of Port Augusta up through 
> southern NT and the eastern side of WA; which leaves striatus as occurring in 
> the mallee country of eastern SA, NSW and Vic.
> This proposal has apparently been considered by IOC and rejected at this 
> stage. The ‘Diary’ section of the IOC website has an entry reading
> “Aug 30  Decline Striated Grasswren splits pending improved sampling”. 
> Can any of our readers enlighten me on what this actually means. Are the IOC 
> looking for more physical samples of SGs to have their DNA sampled or are 
> they looking for sampling of more loci of the DNA or are they after something 
> else altogether? Does anyone know if there is interest in the scientific 
> community in doing whatever else is asked for by IOC? If so when might such 
> work get published?
> Obviously it is still a good idea for we twitchers to keep an eye out for the 
> sub-species as there is a good chance that at some time in the future they 
> will be elevated to full species
> Regards
> Peter Marsh
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