IRBC - Announcements

Changes to the Irish List, March 2014.


The ninth report of the Taxonomic Sub-Committee of the BOU Records Committee (TSC) (Sangster et al 2013) has been published. The report should be consulted for the full exposition of the TSC's decisions. The following recommendations included in the report are applicable to the Irish List and have been adopted by the IRBC.

  • The polytypic Black-browed Albatross is split in to two monotypic species, i.e. Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophris and the extralimital Campbell Albatross T. impavida. Consequently Black-browed Albatross becomes monotypic on the Irish List.
  • Recent genetic studies of the near passerines has clarified the taxonomic position and relationships of several orders including:
    • The Accipitriformes (Hawks, Eagles, Vultures etc) and the Falconiformes (Falcons) do not form a single monophyletic group.
    • The Falconiformes (Falcons) and Psittaciformes (Parrots) are the closest taxonomic groups to the Passeriformes (Passerines).

    Consequently the Falconiformes are moved from their present position and placed between the Piciformes (Woodpeckers) and Passeriformes. The revised list sequence of near passerine species on the Irish List becomes:

    • Wryneck
    • Green Woodpecker
    • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
    • Great Spotted Woodpecker
    • Lesser Kestrel
    • Kestrel
    • Red-footed Falcon
    • Merlin
    • Hobby
    • Gyr Falcon
    • Peregrine
  • Recent genetic studies strongly suggest that the Coraciiformes (Kingfishers, Bee-eaters, Rollers, Hoopoe et al) is not monophyletic and that some taxa in Coraciiformes are more closely related to the Piciformes (Woodpeckers) than to other taxa currently included in Coraciiformes.
    Furthermore, the studies indicate that the Coraciiformes includes two major clades, one comprising the Hoopoes et al (Upupidae) and another comprising the Bee-eaters (Meropidae), Rollers (Coraciidae), Kingfishers (Alcedinidae) et al. A new taxa Bucerotiformes is proposed to redress this anomaly and the amended order (and family) sequence becomes:

    • Bucerotiformes (Upupidae)
    • Coraciiformes (Meropidae, Coraciidae, Alcedinidae)
    • Piciformes (Picidae)

    Consequently, the revised list of species in these orders on the Irish List becomes:

    • Hoopoe
    • Bee-eater
    • Roller
    • Kingfisher
    • Belted Kingfisher
  • Following the principle that, for each branching point in the phylogeny, the less-speciose group should be listed first recent genetic studies have clarified the evolutionary relationships among the Wheatears (Oenanthe). Consequently the revised list order of Wheatears on the Irish List becomes:

    • Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
    • Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina
    • Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti
    • Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica
    • Pied Wheatear Oenanthe pleschanka
    • Black / White-crowned Black Wheatear Oenanthe leucura / leucopyga
  • Recent genetic studies of the finches confirms the polyphyly of Serinus (Serins), Carduelis (Finches) and Carpodacus (Rosefinches) and further supports several other previous findings including:

    • The placement of Loxia (Crossbills) as a sister taxon of the redpolls within the Serinus - Carduelis complex.
    • Monophyly of Chloris (Greenfinches) as distinct from Carduelis.

    Consequently the list sequence of Fringillidae on the Irish List becomes:

    • Brambling Fringilla montifringilla
    • Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
    • Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes
    • Common Rosefinch Erythrina erythrina (Moved from Carpodacus)
    • Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula
    • Greenfinch Chloris chloris
    • Linnet Linaria cannabina (Moved from Carduelis)
    • Twite Linaria flavirostris (Moved from Carduelis)
    • Redpoll Acanthis flammea (Moved from Carduelis)
    • Arctic Redpoll Acanthis hornemanni (Moved from Carduelis)
    • Two-barred Crossbill Loxia leucoptera
    • Crossbill Loxia curvirostra
    • Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
    • Serin Serinus serinus
    • Siskin Spinus spinus (Moved from Carduelis)

Additional recommendations in the report 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.


Reference:

Sangster, G., Collinson, J.M., Crochet, P-A., Knox, A.G., Parkin, D.T. & Votier, S.C. 2013. Taxonomic recommendations for Western Palearctic birds: ninth report. Ibis 155(4): 898-907.


Back to Announcements