The eight report of the Taxonomic Sub-Committee of the BOU Records Committee (TSC) (Sangster et al. 2012) and the fourth report of the Taxonomic Advisory Committee of the AERC (Crochet et al. 2012) have been published. The reports should be consulted for the full exposition of the TSC and TAC's decisions. The following recommendations included in the reports are applicable to the Irish List and have been adopted by the IRBC.

  • Re-examination of the relationships among the Galliformes has resulted in changes made to family order as well as incorporating the Tetraonidae within the Phasianidae. The order of Grouse and Pheasants on the Irish List becomes:
    • Quail Coturnix coturnix
    • Red Grouse Lagopus lagopus
    • Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus
    • Grey Partridge Perdix perdix
    • Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
  • Studies indicate that the previously polytypic Cory's Shearwater should be split in to three monotypic species, i.e. Cory's Shearwater Calonectris borealis and the extralimital Scopoli's Shearwater C. diomedea and Cape Verde Shearwater C. edwardsii. Consequently, Cory's Shearwater becomes monotypic on the Irish List.
  • The Atlantic population of the monotypic Madeiran Storm-petrel is split in to three monotypic species, i.e. Madeiran Storm-petrel Oceanodroma castro, a hot-season breeder from Madeira and the Selvagens (which also includes the population of the so-called 'Grants Storm-petrel', a cold-season breeder from the Azores, Madeira, the Selvagens and some islands off Portugal), Cape Verde Storm-petrel O. jabejabe, an endemic to the Cape Verde Islands and Monteiro's Storm-petrel O. monteiroi, a hot-season breeder from the Azores. Consequently, Madeiran Petrel becomes Madeiran / Cape Verde / Monteiro’s Storm-petrel Oceanodroma castro / jabejabe / monteiroi on the Irish List. The single Irish record of this group, a female obtained at Blackrock Lighthouse, Co. Mayo on the 18th October 1931 (Kennedy et al. 1954) is currently under review by the IRBC. See also: 'Change to the vernacular name of the Hydrobatidae on the Irish List'.
  • The European Storm-petrel has been treated as monotypic. However, recent studies have shown that the Mediterranean and Atlantic populations should be treated seperately at subspecific level. Consequently, European Storm-petrel becomes polytypic on the Irish List as Hydrobates pelagicus pelagicus. See also: 'Change to the vernacular name of the Hydrobatidae on the Irish List'.
  • A series of comprehensive molecular studies carried out since 2000 has resulted in major changes to the Charadriiformes. The revised Family order (with relevant Genera) is as follows:
    • Burhinidae (Burhinus)
    • Recurvirostridae (Himantopus, Recurvirostra)
    • Haematopodidae (Haematopus)
    • Charadriidae (Pluvialis, Vanellus, Charadrius)
    • Scolopacidae (Bartramia, Numenius, Limosa, Arenaria, Calidris, Phalaropus, Xenus, Actitis, Tringa, Lymnocryptes, Limnodromus, Scolopax, Gallinago)
    • Glareolidae (Glareola, Cursorius)
    • Stercorariidae (Stercorarius)
    • Alcidae (Fratercula, Cepphus, Alca, Pinguinus, Alle, Uria)
    • Sternidae (Onychoprion, Sternula, Gelochelidon, Hydroprogne, Chlidonias, Sterna)
    • Laridae (Pagophila, Xema, Rissa, Chroicocephalus, Hydrocoloeus, Rhodostethia, Larus)
  • A recent study of the molecular phylogeny of the genus Calidris based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences strongly indicates that it is paraphyletic resulting in a revision of its list sequence as well as indicating that some other monotypic genera are better placed within the Calidrine sandpipers including three on the Irish List as follows:
    • Ruff previously Philomachus pugnax becomes Calidris pugnax
    • Broad-billed Sandpiper previously Limicola falcinellus becomes Calidris falcinellus
    • Buff-breasted Sandpiper previously Tryngites subruficollis becomes Calidris subruficollis
    Consequently, the order of Calidrine sandpipers on the Irish List becomes:
    • Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris
    • Knot Calidris canutus
    • Ruff Calidris pugnax
    • Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata
    • Broad-billed Sandpiper Calidris falcinellus
    • Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
    • Stilt Sandpiper Calidris himantopus
    • Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis
    • Long-toed Stint Calidris subminuta
    • Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii
    • Sanderling Calidris alba
    • Dunlin Calidris alpina
    • Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima
    • Baird's Sandpiper Calidris bairdii
    • Little Stint Calidris minuta
    • White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis
    • Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla
    • Buff-breasted Sandpiper Calidris subruficollis
    • Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos
    • Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri
    • Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla
  • The three subspecies of Artcic Warbler have each been raised to full monotypic species status, i.e. Arctic Warbler Phylloscopus borealis and the extralimital Kamchatka Leaf Warbler P. examinandus and Japanese Leaf Warbler P. xanthodryas. Consequently, Arctic Warbler becomes monotypic on the Irish List.

Additional recommendations in the reports have no relevance to the Irish List at present although they may become applicable in the future. A PDF version of the latest Irish List may be downloaded here.


Crochet, P-A., Barthel, P.H., Bauer, H-G., van den Berg, A.B., Bezzel, E., Collinson, J.M., Dietzen, C., Dubois, P.J., Fromholtz, J., Helbig, A.J., Jiguet, F., Jirle, E., Knox, A.G., Krüger, T., Le Maréchal, P., van Loon, A.J., Päckert, M., Parkin, D.T., Pons, J-M., Raty, L., Roselaar, C.S., Sangster, G., Steinheimer, F.D., Svensson, L., Tyrberg, T., Votier, S.C. & Yésou, P. 2012. AERC TAC's taxonomic recommendations: 2012 report, [online PDF]. Available from the AERC website [Accessed December 2012].

Kennedy, P.G., Ruttledge, R.F. & Scroope, C.F. 1954. Birds of Ireland. Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh.

Sangster, G., Collinson, J.M., Crochet, P-A., Knox, A.G., Parkin, D.T. & Votier, S.C. 2012. Taxonomic recommendations for British Birds: eighth report. Ibis 154(4): 874-883.

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