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          Member | Join now

          By joining the biggest community of bird lovers in Australia, you can help us make a positive impact on the future of our native birdlife. The members of BirdLife Australia, along with our supporters and partners, have been powerful advocates for native birds and the conservation of their habitats since 1901.

          We are also the meeting ground for everyone with an interest in birds from the curious backyard observer to the dedicated research scientist. It doesn’t matter what your interest in birds is or how much you know about them, your membership will offer you the opportunity to increase your awareness and enjoyment.

          Birdlife Australia would be delighted to welcome you as a new member and we look forward to sharing our news and achievements with you throughout the coming year.

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          Working List of Australian Birds

          Version 2 with extensive non-passerine taxonomy revisions and many other changes released - please see documents below for changes summary and a copy of the list.

          The next major update will cover passerines.

          Thanks to the dozens of contributors and all who provided feedback to the v2 update.

          Please send any feedback to taxonomy@www.bianchun.tw

          BirdLife Australia Taxonomic approach

          Background

          Recognising the important function of accurate and current bird lists, BirdLife Australia in conjunction with partners, has developed the Working List of Australian Birds (WLAB). The list is multi-functional:

          • The WLAB provides regular, considered and comprehensive taxonomic updates for all known Australian bird species and subspecies following a practical and long-standing taxonomic approach (see below). 
          • The list includes up-to-date conservation assessments (based on The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2010 and subsequent updates from the BirdLife Australia Threatened Species Committee).
          • It defines all birds that are listed in our primary piece of national protective legislation — the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999.
          • It takes an ultrataxon approach ensuring data integrity in an age of large taxonomic change (see www.www.bianchun.tw/taxonomy > What is an ultrataxon?). This means that we will always have the best detail of bird data to assist us with threatened bird recovery programs, which are conducted at both species and subspecies levels.
          • The WLAB also preserves BirdLife Australia’s long established tradition of providing consistent, practical nomenclature for Australian bird species - under the auspices of the BirdLife Australia English Names Committee, thus ensuring the immeasurably valuable social capital associated with our birds is protected.

          Taxonomic approach

          Species concepts, the relative merits of, and applicability to different scientific fields, have been debated for for centuries. There is as little clarity today as there was 50 years ago - probably less. There are over 20 definitions of species in use today and a cursory glance at the Wikipeda “Species” page will reveal the complexities. No one approach will please everybody - taxonomy will always be controversial. However it is vital to be clear and transparent about the species concept and evidentially approach used in any given list.

          “it is critical that the species definition being used be stated explicitly when new species are designated, and conservation decisions prescribed” (Frankham et al. 2012 - Biological Conservation 153 2012, 25–31).

          While a modified Biological Species Concept (BSC) approach is by far the most commonly used species definition in the world today, it is not the only one used for bird lists. Much genetic research utilises a Phylogenetic (or Cladistic) Species Concept and the debate over which of these approaches is best for birds has been heated. While some of the debate is stimulating, these uncertainties can have real world implications and it is important not to let this stand in the way of the job of helping birds, who are after all the ones facing the “extinction crisis”.

          Our understanding of genetic relationships among birds is dynamic and new research is constantly throwing light on how our birds evolved. However practical research and conservation requires consistency and comparability across the full range of bird taxa (species and subspecies). The WLAB is intended to provide this. Australian legislation gives taxa like the Norfolk Island Boobook, which was only saved by allowing the last pure-bred female to breed with a male owl from New Zealand, the same protection as the highly distinctive Magpie Goose and Plains Wanderer. So whether taxa are species or subspecies, or the sequence in which they appear, does not matter.

          However, while we are fortunate to be bale to protect birds equally regardless of whether they have two or three latin names on a list, a stable set of identities is important for legal protection, conservation planning and for engaging the public in a way that allows people to take a bird to their hearts. Despite the fact that the Western Ground Parrot, the Norfolk Island Green Parrot or the Christmas Island Goshawk (all of which have undergone multiple shifts in taxonomic classification over the years) are protected regardless of their taxonomic status, the fact remains that each taxonomic shift in opinion takes years to work through legal and planning systems, wasting hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars that are better spent in on-ground conservation. Stable taxonomy is also one of the principal reasons birds are good environmental indicators according to the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists (Accounting for Nature 2008).

          While the field of molecular genetics has brought a new type of highly valuable information to the table in recent years, geneticists will never agree on the definition of a species – and nor should they because they study an evolutionary process. However, conservationists, ecologists, lawyers and planners, need to take a slice through evolutionary time, adopt a single definition of a species and apply it consistently across all birds. This is what BirdLife International has done for the world’s birds at a species level by using a modified Biological Species Concept and the “Quantitative criteria for species delimitation” (Tobias et al. 2010)* to classify species. BirdLife Australia is building on that to create a stable national list of both species and subspecies, all of which we aim to conserve for future generations to enjoy.

          However recognising that our understanding of genetic relationships among birds is dynamic and is constantly throwing light on how our birds evolved, the WLAB features the latest systematic updates (i.e. Order, Family and Genera) from the recently published suite of papers in Science 346 (2015) “A Flock of Genomes” and other recent research. This represents a huge advance in our understanding of higher order systematics for Australian birds (Joseph and Buchanan 2015 - Emu 115 1-5).

          Species classifications in the WLAB of BirdLife Australia are based on a modified Biological Species Concept, and follow that of BirdLife International**. This reflects the conservation aims of the organisation and ensures that Australian species classifications are consistent with those of other countries and international conservation organisations such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and The Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP).

          * More information on the Quantitative criteria for species delimitation (Tobias et al. 2010)

          While sympatric species (those which inhabit the same geographic region) are well established and easy to classify (they do not breed with one another and birds develop readily diagnosable and obvious characteristics which avoid this - e.g. call variations and colouration); this is not necessarily so for geographically isolated (allopatric) populations.

          To overcome this problem for practical purposes, Tobias et al. (2010) have set thresholds with reference to undisputed sympatric species as a yardstick for assessing the taxonomic status of allopatric forms. The framework uses multiple phenotypic characters; i.e. morphology, vocalisation, colouration, ecology and geography, which are quantitatively assessed in order to determine species classifications. These are characters we know to be significant adaptive characteristics such as bill-length (important in determining what food a bird can eat), wing size, feather colouration, calls and foraging or breeding habitat preferences.

          While this approach is not ubiquitous among all bird checklists, and may not suit the needs of all research streams, the BirdLife Australia Working List of Australian Birds takes an ultrataxon approach, defining taxa at their terminal level. As such the list is directly comparable with all other major lists used in Australia and data collected can be easily converted to suit any research stream.

          The Quantitative criteria for species delimitation is available in full at www.birdlife.org/datazone/info/taxonomy.

          ** In a very small number of cases, species classifications in the Australian list differ from those on the BirdLife International list because revisions have not yet been fully considered by the BirdLife International Taxonomic Working Group. In these cases BirdLife Australia works with the BirdLife International Taxonomic Working Group to bring the International and Australian lists into line.

          Why do we need a new working list?

          The classification of living organisms (biological taxonomy) is a complex and much-debated topic. Classifying biodiversity is essential in our efforts to conserve it. However, because the way organisms are classified is subjective, and different species concepts are used, the make-up of different bird checklists varies.

          In Australia, we are fortunate to have the ability through conservation legislation and the Action Plan for Australian Birds to protect birds at a species, subspecies or even population level. Recovery programs are also dedicated to both species and subspecies alike. So the taxonomic rank at which birds are classified (species or subspecies) has no direct bearing on whether they are listed under environmental legislation (see Garnett and Christidis 2007) or how conservation activities are conducted for them.

          However, defining all Australia’s bird taxa (species and subspecies) does matter for conservation; it is difficult to monitor and protect birds if they are not defined as taxonomic units. Past approaches have seen? data collected only at a species level, using static taxonomic classifications which are reviewed infrequently. Because species classifications can be unstable (‘splits’ and ‘lumps’ occur over time), the data collected on a species at one point in time does not always match species classifications in the future. This can result in significant data gaps. For some bird taxa? there is? little, or even no data at all, including for some threatened species. For conservation purposes, it is very important to collect data at a level commensurate with BirdLife Australia’s conservation goals and to ensure? the data is consistent with international conservation organisations and includes up-to-date conservation assessments.

          The working list is multi-functional:

          • For the first time we have a list that defines, and names, all known Australian bird species and subspecies.
          • Our species classifications are now consistent with those of other countries and international conservation organisations (such as BirdLife International and the IUCN). The Working List is based on the BirdLife International taxonomic approach which follows a biological species concept — www.birdlife.org/datazone/info/taxonomy — but includes listings at the highest available taxonomic resolution, defined here as subspecies.
          • The list includes up-to-date taxonomic classifications for all Australian birds and will be kept updated — i.e. at least annually.
          • The list includes up-to-date conservation assessments (based on The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2010).
          • It will ensure that we have the best detail of bird data to assist us with threatened bird recovery programs, which are conducted at both species and subspecies levels.
          • It? defines? all birds that are listed in our primary piece of national protective legislation — the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999 — which lists threatened birds at species, subspecies or population? levels.
          • The list is fully comparable with all other major checklists — Christidis and Boles (2008), International Ornithological Congress (IOC), The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World (Cornell Lab of Ornithology) and BirdLife International. The list features comparative fields which allow any taxon from the Working List to be cross-referenced according to any of the aforementioned lists.
          • The list maintains consistency with long-established species common names for Australian birds thus preserving the valuable social capital associated with our birds.

          What does this mean for me when I record data?

          There is unlikely to be any noticeable change. You can continue to enter data from your Atlas of Australian Birds surveys as you have already been doing. Over the coming months we will be amending our databases to reflect the new working taxonomy, and an upcoming update of Birdata will feature data input and retrieval in the new format. However, because the working list is backward compatible with current Atlas classifications (and other checklists), Atlas records (past and future) will always be convertible to the existing (Christidis and Boles 2008 based) Atlas classifications.

          Should I try to identify subspecies when conducting surveys?

          Not necessarily and in all likelihood you will never need to. For most polytypic species (i.e. species that have two or more subspecies) we will automatically classify your species observations into their relevant subspecies based on their geographic location. For some taxa, however, where they overlap geographically, recording the subspecies at the time of observation is the only way to reliably record which subspecies they are. The next update of Birdata will have this functionality available, and we will provide the option to indicate subspecies where those birds are readily identifiable, though, as mentioned, this will usually be done automatically.

          What birds are included on the list?

          Any bird that has been reliably recorded in Australia (even if it was 300 years ago) is included on the list.

          Deciding which birds to include is simple in many cases. For example, the Australian Magpie (our most recorded bird in the Atlas of Australian Birds) is instantly recognised as an Australian bird, but the situation is not always so straightforward. Some birds spend only a part of their lives in Australia. Migratory birds, including some waders (shorebirds) and cuckoos, spend only their breeding or non-breeding periods (but not both) in Australia. Some birds are ‘vagrants’ or ‘occasional visitors’ to the Australian continent and territories, and others may have only been here briefly a long time ago, e.g. failed introductions by the acclimatisation societies that were active in the 19th century.

          For conservation assessments, threatened bird listings and the like, only naturally occurring birds that regularly breed in an Australian territory, or have a regular occurrence of at least 100 non-breeding individuals are considered “core” Australian birds.

          There are fields on the list that allow filtering to include or exclude vagrants, failed introductions or extant introduced taxa.

          Birds that reach Australia by chance (e.g. cyclone driven from South East Asia or Palaearctic overshoots) are considered to be vagrants. There are increasing numbers of vagrant birds being added to the Australian bird list because of the increased interest in birdwatching, particularly expeditions to places such as Ashmore Reef and other Australian island territories that are close to Asia.

          What is a bird species?

          There are numerous species concepts in use throughout the world, and which should be used for bird taxonomy is much debated and still unresolved. Which species concept is followed, and the criteria by which evidence for classifying species is applied significantly affects the rank at which a bird taxon is defined and thus the make-up of a checklist.

          The two main species concepts applied to birds are the Biological Species Concept and the Phylogenetic Species Concept - although a Genetic Species Concept is sometimes also used. The BirdLife Australia Working List of Australian Birds follows the approach of the BirdLife International Taxonomic Working Group and uses a Biological Species Concept. Because transparency and consistency in how species are classified is critical, BirdLife International species classifications are based on the quantitative criteria outlined in Tobias et al. (2010). This framework is uses multiple phenotypic characters; i.e. morphology, vocalisation, colouration, ecology and geography, which are quantitatively assessed in order to determine species classifications (see www.birdlife.org/datazone/info/taxonomy for further details).

          While this approach is not ubiquitous among all bird checklists, and may not suit the needs of all research streams, the BirdLife Australia Working List of Australian Birds takes an ultrataxon approach (see below), defining taxa at their terminal level. As such the list is fully comparable with all other major lists used in Australia - species definitions from which are also included on the list to allow easy cross-referencing.

          Where species definitions differ from what you might be used to, explanatory notes are included in the list.

          What is a bird subspecies?

          Many of us are probably unaware of the diversity of bird subspecies that exist in Australia. Until now there has not been a single, comprehensive list of Australian bird subspecies available. However, Australia is particularly rich in bird subspecies and they are an important part of our avian heritage. Some Australian subspecies are actually quite famous. The Victorian faunal emblem the Helmeted Honeyeater Lichenostomus melanops cassidix is a subspecies of the Yellow-tufted Honeyeater, and there are many recovery programs in Australia dedicated specifically to the conservation of bird subspecies.

          Subspecies (sometimes also referred to as ‘races’) are regionally partitioned forms of a species that exhibit significant differences in diagnostic traits (e.g. morphology, colouration or vocalisation). These traits can be very important in expansive, environmentally and climatically diverse countries like Australia and the U.S.A. where they can represent important local adaptations that help birds survive in unique environments (see Winkler 2010).

          Unlike species, however, subspecies with overlapping ranges often interbreed (species do also interbreed, but less often). This interbreeding, also referred to as hybridisation or introgression, gives rise to ‘hybrid zones’. In these hybrid zones, birds can either breed with other members of their subspecies, or can interbreed with birds from adjacent subspecies. Where interbreeding occurs, ‘hybrid forms’ exhibiting intermediate characters can arise. Hybrid zones (or zones of introgression) are common in Australia and usually occur along distinct environmental gradients, especially drainage divisions or river basins (Ford 1987a,b; Schodde and Mason 1997, 1999). Subspecies with such hybrid zones are known as ‘parapatric’, while populations that are totally isolated from one another are known as ‘allopatric’.

          The Eastern and Western populations of Grey-crowned Babblers are phenotypically similar enough to be the one species; however their plumage colouration and overall size varies substantially along geographic lines, and consequently they are recognised as distinct subspecies.

          Western Grey-crowned Babbler
          Pomatostomus temporalis rubeculus
          Photo Glenn Ehmke
          Eastern Grey-crowned Babbler
          Pomatostomus temporalis temporalis
          Photo Chris Tzaros

          While subspecific variation has been reviewed in detail for most terrestrial Australian bird species through the Australian Zoological Catalogues (Schodde and Mason 1997, 1999), subspecies for several bird groups (most notably waterbirds and shorebirds) have not been systematically reviewed. Subspecies are defined where known for these groups based on various information including the Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds and Handbook of the Birds of the World, but subspecific variation in these bird groups almost certainly remains underdescribed.

          Even for terrestrial birds much work is still being conducted describing Australian bird subspecies. For example, recent taxonomic work on grasswrens has seen at least eight new subspecies described (and one new species, with the split of Thick-billed Grasswren - Amytornis modestus and Western Grasswren - Amytornis textilis) (Black et al. 2010).

          Bird species with two or more subspecies are referred to as ‘polytypic’ species, while species without subspecies are ‘monotypic’. The White-browed Scrubwren has the most subspecies (10), but polytypic Australian birds usually have only two or three subspecies.

          What is an ultrataxon?

          The concept of ultrataxa has been around for a long time and was developed by Schodde and Mason (1999). The term refers to a monotypic species (a species with no subspecies) or a subspecies. More recently, the concept has been used in the Action Plan for Australian Birds and associated publications, and also in relation to the forthcoming national climate change adaptation action plan.

          While you don’t need to worry about ultrataxa when you record bird data, the definition of ultrataxa is important. As the terminal diagnosable taxonomic units of avian biodiversity, ultrataxa are effectively the base unit of avian biodiversity we seek to conserve. Also, in a time of significant, ongoing taxonomic changes, ultrataxa are the taxonomic units most likely to remain stable over time; whether species are split or lumped, and no matter how much higher level relationships are re-shuffled, ultrataxa mostly remain the same. Thus by defining ultrataxa we ensure that the best possible level of taxonomic detail is preserved in our data for future generations.

          What is an endemic bird?

          An endemic (Australian) bird that naturally occurs on the Australian continent (or territorial islands) and nowhere else in the world; vagrant occurrences of Australian birds in other countries aside.

          A bird does not need to be endemic to be Australian; even the quintessentially ‘aussie’ Australian Magpie is not endemic to Australia, as it also occurs naturally in southern New Guinea. Some birds are found all over the planet — Ospreys, for example, occur on every continent except Antarctica (and even the eastern subspecies which occurs in Australia also occurs in several other countries); nonetheless, the Osprey is certainly an Australian bird.
          ?

          How are our common (English) names decided?

          Most of us know that all bird taxa have scientific (Latin) names, binomial for species (e.g. Dromaius novaehollandiae) and trinomial for subspecies (e.g. Dromaius novaehollandiae diemenensis). However, most people know birds by their common (or English) names.

          Common names for birds are important for several reasons:

          • they often reflect morphological characteristics that are relevant in the field
          • common names have remained relatively stable over time, even though some major taxonomic changes have taken place
          • common names are important in fostering appreciation of our birds among the general public

          The English Names Committee of the Royal Australian Ornithologists Union (Birds Australia) established conventions for naming Australian birds over 35 years ago (RAOU 1978), and bird names have remained relatively stable ever since. The only major changes took place in the early 1990s and involved widespread consultation with birdwatchers and ornithologists throughout Australia (Higgins 1994, 1995). The results of those ‘elections’ have been the basis for our species names ever since.

          BirdLife Australia believes it is critical to maintain consistency in our bird names, given the huge social capital built up over many decades by research and conservation programs.

          The Working List also features common names for all Australian bird subspecies. Most subspecies are named using geographic terms reflecting the regional distribution that distinguishes them from conspecific taxa. However, where subspecies have, or have had, established common names those names are used. Given most of our subspecies have never had formal english names, we consider the names listed here to be preliminary. Most names are intuitive though and we hope all are at least sensible; however, because the distribution of subspecies does not always correspond to known regional naming frameworks, some preliminary names may need to be revised in future. If you have any feedback or suggestions for proposed subspecies names - please send them to Glenn Ehmke for consideration by the English Names Committee.
          ?

          References

          Black A.B., Joseph L., Pedler L.P. and Carpenter G.A. (2010). A taxonomic framework for interpreting evolution within the Amytornis textilis–modestus complex of grasswrens. Emu 110: 358–363.

          Christidis L. and Boles W.E. (2008). Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

          Clements J.F., Schulenberg T.S. Iliff M.J., Sullivan B.L., Wood C.L. and Roberson D. (2012). The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.7.

          Ford J. (1987a). Minor isolates and minor geographical barriers in avian speciation in continental Australia. Emu 87: 90–102.

          Ford J. (1987b). Hybrid zones in Australian birds. Emu 87: 158–178.

          Garnett S.T. and Christidis L. (2007). Implications of changing species definitions for conservation purposes. Bird Conservation International 17:187–19.

          Higgins P. (1994). REN or fairy-wren? The debate continues. Wingspan 13: 23–26.

          Higgins P. (1995). And the winner is! Recommended English Names. Wingspan 5(1): 20–23.

          Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union (RAOU) (1978). Recommended English names for Australian birds. Supplement to: The Emu 77: 247-313.

          Schodde R. and Mason I.J. (1997). Zoological Catalogue of Australia Volume 37.2 Aves (Columbidae to Coraciidae). CSIRO Publishing/Australian Biological Resources Study, Melbourne/Canberra.

          Schodde R. and Mason I.J. (1999). The Directory of Australian Birds. Passerines. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

          Tobias J.A., Seddon N., Spottiswoode C.N., Pilgrim J.D., Fishpool L.D.C. and Collar N.J. (2010). Quantitative criteria for species delimitation. Ibis 152: 724–746.

          Winkler K. (2010). Subspecies represent geographically partitioned variation, a gold mine of evolutionary biology, and a challenge for conservation. Ornithological Monographs 67: 6–23.

          Field definitions and conventions

          Field Definitions

          Sort fields and identifiers: use these fields to filter the list to obtain desired combinations of species, subspecies, ultrataxa or all taxa and to identify the taxonomic level of each record.

          Taxon sort

          Taxonomic sort field; based on Christidis and Boles (2008).

          UltrataxonID

          Denotes whether the record is an ultrataxon; used in the TaxonID field.

          Taxon level

          The taxonomic level of the record; species or subspecies (sp = species, ssp = subspecies).


          Main taxonomic fields

          SpNo

          Unique species number. *SpNo between 5000 and 6000 are temporary numbers and may change.

          TaxonID

          Unique ID composed of ultrataxon identifier (u = ultrataxon), species number and subspecies code (alpha character).

          Taxon name

          Taxon common name.

          Taxon scientific name

          Taxon scientific name.

          Family name

          Family common name, based on Christidis and Boles (2008).

          Family scientific name

          Family scientific name, based on Christidis and Boles (2008).

          Order

          Order scientific name, based on Christidis and Boles (2008).

          Taxonomic notes

          Various information relating to the definition of taxonomic units.

          Population

          Major ecological categories - can be useful in filtering taxon records. Categories are one, or a combination of, the following:

          Endemic: Taxa that occur only in Australia (including territorial? islands - e.g. Norfolk, Christmas, Macquarie etc.).
          Endemic (breeding only): Taxa that only breed in Australia, but which have non-breeding distributions elsewhere.
          Australian: Taxa that occur in Australia and elsewhere, but which breed in Australia.
          Non-breeding: Regular migrants or visitors (not vagrants) that occur in Australia during their non-breeding period.
          Vagrant: Occasional visitors to Australia with no regular breeding in Australia and irregular occurrences of <100 individuals.
          Extinct: Taxa that are extinct in Australia. This includes taxa listed as ‘Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct)’ in the IUCN Red List category field.
          Introduced: Non-indigenous taxa introduced to Australia by people.
          Domestic: Non-indigenous taxa that do not have self-sustaining wild populations in Australia.
          Failed introduction: Non-indigenous taxa introduced to Australia by people but which never formed self-sustaining populations.


          IUCN Red List category

          Conservation category based on The Action Plan for Australian Birds (Garnett et al. 2011). See Garnett et al. (2011) or http://www.iucnredlist.org for details.

          Based on the recommendation of BirdLife International, the additional category of ‘Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct)’ is used for taxa recently assessed as likely to be extinct, but which have not met the strict IUCN criteria for a classification of Extinct or Extinct in the Wild.

          Cross-reference identifiers: use these fields to cross-reference taxa with other taxonomies.

          Scientific name (C&B 2008)

          Christidis and Boles (2008) scientific name.

          Scientific name (IOC)

          International Ornithological Congress v3.3 scientific name.

          Scientific name (Clements)

          The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World v6 scientific name.

          Conventions

          Taxonomic arrangement (including genera definitions) follows Christidis and Boles (2008) except where described in the ‘Taxonomic Notes’ field.

          Species definitions follow BirdLife International (see www.birdlife.org/datazone/info/taxonomy for details), except where noted in the ‘Taxonomic Notes’ field.

          • Hybrids between species are not listed except in two cases where these taxa are routinely recorded (Pacific Black Duck–Mallard hybrid and Cox's Sandpiper). These records are assigned the ‘Taxon level’ of ‘hybrid’.

          Subspecies definitions are taken from:

          • Schodde and Mason (1997) for Pigeons–Dollarbirds.
          • Schodde and Mason (1999) for passerines.
          • The Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds (HANZAB) and Handbook of the Birds of the World for non-passerines (except Pigeons–Dollarbird).
          • Various more recent taxonomic studies where work has been conducted; these references are noted in the ‘Taxonomic Notes’ field.

          Where the subspecies taxon occurring in Australia is uncertain, common and scientific names are suffixed with ‘ssp.’.

          Subspecies are allocated an alpha character code only where two or more subspecies taxa occur in Australia.

          Common (English) name conventions:

          • Species common names follow Christidis and Boles (2008) (which follows RAOU naming conventions (RAOU 1978)), except where species definitions differ from those of Christidis and Boles (2008) or where more recent taxonomic work has been conducted.
          • Subspecies are named using commonly known terms where they exist and otherwise a geographic descriptor reflecting the regional distribution that distinguishes them from other conspecific taxa preceding the species common name.
          • Though increasing the length of names, the word ‘Island’ is included for island endemic birds following Garnett (1992) to avoid the names that imply birds are characteristic of late December ('Christmas' taxa), are of East Anglia ('Norfolk' taxa), are regal (‘King’ taxa), are a strange mix of mammal and bird (‘Kangaroo’ taxa) etc. The word ‘island’ is omitted in a few cases for brevity where the island name is not conflicted, or where existing precedents are in place - e.g. for Lord Howe Island endemics because of the established protocol for the high profile ‘Lord Howe Woodhen’.

          References

          Christidis L. and Boles W.E. (2008). Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. CSIRO Publishing.

          Clements J.F., Schulenberg T.S. Iliff M.J., Sullivan B.L., Wood C.L. and Roberson D. (2012). The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.7.
          ?
          Garnett S.T., Szabo, J.K. and Dutson G. (2011). The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2010. CSIRO Publishing.

          Garnett S.T. (1992). Threatened and Extinct Birds of Australia. Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union. Moonee Ponds.

          Schodde R. and Mason I.J. (1997). Zoological Catalogue of Australia Volume 37.2 Aves (Columbidae to Coraciidae). CSIRO Publishing/Australian Biological Resources Study.

          Schodde R. and Mason I.J (1999). The Directory of Australian Birds. Passerines. CSIRO Publishing.

          RAOU (Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union) (1978). Recommended English names for Australian birds. Emu 77 (Supplement): 245–313.

          Filtering/sorting the list

          The Working List can be easily be filtered to display species, subspecies, species and subspecies, or ultrataxa (see below for instructions).

          Select all species

          SQL / MS Access

          SELECT SpNo, TaxonID, UltrataxonID, `Taxon level`, `Taxon Name`, `Taxon scientific name` # add other fields as needed eg for conservation category add `IUCN Red List category` etc.
          FROM `BirdLife Australia working list`
          WHERE `Taxon level` = "sp"
          ORDER BY `Taxon sort`; # or other field if desired

          Spreadsheet

          Filter (or sort) by `Taxon level` = "sp".

          Select all subspecies

          SQL / MS Access

          SELECT SpNo, TaxonID, UltrataxonID, `Taxon level`, `Taxon Name`, `Taxon scientific name` # add other fields as needed eg for conservation category add `IUCN Red List category` etc.
          FROM `BirdLife Australia working list`
          WHERE TaxonLevel="ssp"
          ORDER BY `Taxon sort`; # or other field if desired

          Spreadsheet

          Filter (or sort) by `Taxon level` = "ssp".

          Select all ultrataxa

          SQL / MS Access

          SELECT SpNo, TaxonID, UltrataxonID, `Taxon level`, `Taxon Name`, `Taxon scientific name` # add other fields as needed eg for conservation category add `IUCN Red List category` etc.
          FROM `BirdLife Australia working list`
          WHERE UltrataxonID="u"
          ORDER BY `Taxon sort`; # or other field if desired

          Spreadsheet

          Filter (or sort) by UltrataxonID = "u".

          Downloads

          Working List of Australian Birds v3

          August 2019
          (CURRENT VERSION)
          Excel file

          Working List of Australian Birds v2.1

          (ARCHIVE VERSION)
          Excel file

          Working List of Australian Birds v2.1 changes summary

          Reasons for English name changes
          English Names Committee (ENC)
          pdf file

          Working List of Australian Birds v2

          (ARCHIVE VERSION)
          Excel file

          Working List of Australian Birds v1.2

          (ARCHIVE VERSION)
          Excel file

          Working List of Australian Birds v1.1

          (ARCHIVE VERSION)
          Excel file

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