I didn't buy the Handbook, so the illustrations and distribution maps are of
interest to me as a bonus to one book where I can record my tick.
I accept the economic argument for the list simpliciter.
From: Carl Clifford
Sent: 08 December 2014 10:47
To: Innes, Angus
Subject: FW: HBW/Birdlife International Illustrated Checklist adopted by UN
It is a lot of money for two books that will be partially out of date by the
time they are printed. I think I will stick to the IOC list. Much more portable
and better priced, as well as being constantly updated.
> On 8 Dec 2014, at 7:50 pm, Innes, Angus
> <> wrote:
> From: <>
> To: <>
> Subject: HBW/Birdlife International Illustrated Checklist adopted by UN
> Date: Sat, 6 Dec 2014 08:13:03 +0000
> Classification lists are a subject of endless fascination for quite a few
> Birding Aus correspondents - mine waxes and wanes. International travel
> birding lists and information probably attract even more space. Having those
> groups particularly in mind, I thought the following may be of interest, as
> well as to others who may share my inclination to use a credible hard copy
> list that will not disappear on computer melt down.
> It is reported that during the eleventh meeting of the Council of the
> Conference of the parties to the UN Convention on the Conservation of
> Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) the HBW and Birdlife International
> Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, vol 1 - Non-passerines,
> published June 2014 by Lynx publications (Barcelona), was adopted as the
> Convention's standard reference for bird taxonomy and nomenclature for
> non-passerines. The resolution adopting the Checklist also requested the
> Council of the Convention to consider adopting the second volume on
> Passerines for similar purposes when published in 2016.
> A reviewer of the first volume, Alan Knox, in the venerable and prestigious
> UK Birding magazine, "British Birds", (November 2014) wrote "Having a full
> checklist of all the non-passerine species and subspecies together with
> illustrations and maps in one remarkable volume, simply cannot be beaten."
> For the record breakers and splitters, he comments elsewhere in the article
> "While the authority of the text, the quality of the plates and revised
> distribution mapping for every species are more than enough to establish this
> as an exceptional volume, it is the authors approach to species-level
> taxonomy that they believe is the most distinctive feature of the book.... In
> a massive exercise , the authors have carried out a massive sweep using new
> criteria , adding a total of 462 species since HBW, about half of which were
> proposed by other authors after the publication of the relevant volumes (of
> HBW). The criteria used here were published by Tobias et al (Ibis
> 152:724-746) and they are carefully explained in the introduction"
> He does go on to qualify the "great service (done by the authors) in their
> review of species" by instancing some species anomalies which he states
> "serves to show that no known system can definitively identify which taxa
> deserve to be treated as a species."
> The checklist is currently on offer from the publishers for 145 euros - with
> an offer of Vol 2 at the same price (to be paid on publication of Vol 2 in
> 2016) if a commitment to purchase is made now. The general sale price appears
> to be around 185 euros. As I understand it, it distils much of its key
> information from the volumes of HBW.
> I do not have the knowledge to engage in any debate on the science behind the
> list adopted. I merely offer this information for the benefit of others who
> find themselves in my position. Yes, I am getting one.
> Angus Innes.
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