Avian Systematics

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Avian Systematics

A definition: systematics is the subject within biology that deals with classification, taxonomy and nomenclature; avian systematics applies these three disciplines of the science of ornithology.

Some suitable Trust activities under consideration and their reasons: 

  • The development and maintenance of a register of First Reviser actions affecting bird names including those relating to date-precedence (open to contributors and for eventual addition to the website).
  • The development of a reference list of avian names thought to be considered to be nomina oblita or nomina dubia (again open to voluntary contributors).
  • The maintenance of a list of published works, which include new bird names, that are not yet able to be reliably dated (e.g. Vieillot’s Histoire Naturelles des Oiseaux de l’Amérique Méridionale).
  • Maintenance of a list of ICZN Opinions related to ornithology (based on the list provided as Appendix 5 to Volume 1 of the 4th edition of the Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World).
  • The provision of a list of avian type catalogues/lists - printed or on-line - with URLs to access them.

Potential for partnerships: preferred partners will be organisations actively interested in avian systematics. It is hoped some may be willing to help with current projects or with the ideas above that are under consideration (and are sometimes fairly well-developed, but on a back-burner due to a lack of volunteers and of awareness). Subject to Trustees and associates availability, the Trust would welcome opportunities to learn more about the content and nature of careers in the area of museum collection management with the idea of helping to spread best practice. This subject might extend to collection management, building the history of previous collection management and making sure that training of new staff includes an understanding of the history and how that affects present knowledge dissemination.