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Aerc tac’s taxonomic recommendations 2012 report Citation

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2012 report


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. Available online at


This document constitutes the official 2012 AERC TAC recommendations for species-level systematics and nomenclature of Western Palearctic birds. For full information on the TAC and its history, please refer to the documents on the AERC web page, including the minutes of the AERC meetings ( and the TAC pages (

The format of this document follows the previous TAC recommendations (Crochet et al. 2010), which see for details.

The TAC has five members: Taxonomic Sub-committee of the British Ornithologists’ Union Records Committee (BOURC-TSC, UK), Commission de l’Avifaune Française (CAF, France), Swedish Taxonomic Committee (STC, Sweden), Commissie Systematiek Nederlandse Avifauna (CSNA, Netherlands) and Kommission Artenliste der Vögel Deutschlands der Deutschen Ornithologen-Gesellschaft (German TC, Germany). As decided previously, systematic changes are based on decisions published by, or directly passed to the TAC chairman, by these taxonomic committees (TCs).

In this document, the support for each case is given as yes / no / not addressed.

Note that several TAC members sent some of their votes directly to the TAC chairman, either without publishing a decision on the case (when this did not affect their national list) or prior to the publication of their own decisions in order not to delay the publication of the TAC recommendations. There might thus be some discrepancy between the support indicated here and the “relevant taxonomic committee publications” section; this is not necessarily a mistake.

The species sequence (the higher-level systematics i.e. the family and order names and the order of the species in the species list) has still largely not been addressed by the AERC TAC. This document and the corresponding list of birds of the Western Palearctic thus still follow the sequence in Voous (1973; 1977a; b) except for a few decisions adopted by the AERC here or in the previous report. This species sequence and the corresponding higher-level systematics are now known to grossly misrepresent avian species relationships in many cases and updating them remains a major task for the TAC.

Systematics below the species rank is not part of the TAC remit. Subspecies lists that are given for some cases are based on the IOC world bird list version 3.0 ( and are purely indicative. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the TAC members.

Authorship follows the same convention as in Crochet et al. (2010): in addition to the two chairmen of the TAC, members of the national taxonomic committees who were responsible for the decisions that fed into the report are listed in alphabetic order. This should not be interpreted as suggesting that they support every individual conclusion contained here.

This document is certainly not free from mistakes. One of the advantages of posting it on the web is that mistakes can easily be corrected, so please send any comments, suggestions or corrections to Pierre-André Crochet (pierre-andre.crochet at

AERC TAC 2012 recommendations
Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus

Notice the correct spelling; Voous (1973) used the spelling ptilorhyncus for the specific epithet. As explained by Dickinson (2012), this name first appeared as ptilorhynchus on the wrappers of the eighth part (“livraison”) of the plates of Temminck and Laugier, which were published in 1821, two years before Temminck’s text (1823, see Dickinson 2012 for references of these works) where the spelling ptilorhyncus is used. The original spelling is thus ptilorhynchus, which had been already used on the AERC WP list (Crochet & Joynt 2011) without justification.

Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus (polytypic: alexandrinus and extralimital dealbatus and seebohmi)

Snowy Plover Charadrius nivosus (extralimital; polytypic: nivosus and occidentalis)

Support: 4/0/1. This treatment is favoured by four TAC members; the CSNA did not address it.

Relevant taxonomic committee publications: Helbig (in Bauer et al. 2005, Germany), Sangster et al. (2011, on behalf of the BOURC-TSC).
Species sequence of Merops

Based on molecular phylogeny of the genus Merops (Marks et al. 2007), the species of Merops on the WP list should be listed as follows:

Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis

European Bee-eater Merops apiaster

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus

Support: this case has not been addressed by any TC yet but has been discussed within the TAC and this treatment is accepted by all TC members.
Rüppell's Warbler Sylvia ruppeli (was Sylvia rueppelli)

Notice the correct spelling. Temminck used the spelling ruppeli in the text for the plate 245 and ruppelii in the “Tableau méthodique”. As explained by Dickinson (2001), the plate 245 and the accompanying text were published in 1823 while the “Tableau méthodique” was published after 1836 (in 1838 or 1839 according to Dickinson pers. com.). The original spelling is thus ruppeli. The specific epithet is sometimes spelt rueppelli because the species is dedicated to the nineteenth-century German naturalist Eduard Rüppell. However, the spelling Ruppel is used consistently by Temminck throughout the text and for the French name (“Bec-fin Ruppel”), making it clear that the spelling is not an inadvertent error. The conditions of Article 32.5.1 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN 1999, the Code hereafter) are thus clearly not met. There is no use of the umlaut either anywhere in the text or in any of the spelling of the specific epithet used by Temminck. In conclusion, neither the addition of “e” after “u” nor the addition of a second “l” are justified by the Code, and these changes are unjustified emendations (see also Peterson 2002).

Eurasian Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula (polytypic: 8 subspecies in the Western Palearctic and 3 extralimital subspecies)

Azores Bullfinch Pyrrhula murina (split from P. pyrrhula; monotypic).

Support: 5/0/0. This treatment is favoured by all five TAC members.

Relevant taxonomic committee publications: Helbig and Barthel (in Bauer et al. 2005, Germany), Sangster et al. (2011, on behalf of the BOURC-TSC).
Blue Grosbeak Passerina caerulea (was Guiraca caerulea)

Should the species be admitted on the WP list, it should be inserted after Passerina cyanea.

Support: 4/0/1. This treatment is favoured by four TAC members, the CSNA did not address it.

Relevant taxonomic committee publications: Sangster et al. (2004, on behalf of the BOURC-TSC), Anderson et al. (2007, on behalf of the STC).
Anderson B., Jirle E., Svensson L. (2007): Förändringar i listan över Holarktis fåglar – Rapport nr 2 från SOF:s Taxonomikommitté. Vår Fågelvärld 66: 1: 14-21.

Bauer H.G., Bezzel E., Fiedler W. (eds) (2005): Das Kompendium der Vögel Mitteleuropas. Alles über Biologie, Gefährdung und Schutz. 3 volumes. AULA-Verlag, Wiebelsheim.

Crochet P.-A., Joynt G. (2011). AERC list of Western Palearctic birds. December 2011 version. Available at

Crochet P.-A., Raty L., De Smet G., Anderson B., Barthel P.H., Collinson J.M., Dubois P.J., Helbig A.J., Jiguet F., Jirle E., Knox A.G., Le Maréchal P., Parkin D.T., Pons, J.-M., Roselaar C.S., Svensson L., van Loon A.J., Yésou P. (2010): AERC TAC's Taxonomic Recommendations. July 2010. Available online at

Dickinson, E.C. (2001): Systematic notes on Asian birds. 9. The “Nouveau recueil des planches coloriées” of Temminck & Laugier (1820‐1839). Zoologische Verhandelingen 335: 7‐54.

Dickinson, E.C. (2012): The first twenty livraisons of “Les Planches Coloriées d’Oiseaux” of Temminck & Laugier (1820–1839): IV. Discovery of the remaining wrappers. Zoological Bibliography 2: 35-49.

ICZN (1999): International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. 4th ed. International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, London. Available online at [Accessed Aug. 2012].

Marks, B.D., Weckstein, J.D., Moyle, R.G. (2007): Molecular phylogenetics of the bee-eaters (Aves: Meropidae) based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequence data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 45: 23-32.

Peterson, A.P. (2012): Zoonomen Nomenclatural data.". Downloaded on 14/08/2012.

Sangster G., Collinson M., Helbig A.J., Knox A.G., Parkin D.T. (2004): Taxonomic recommendations for British birds: second report. Ibis 146: 153-157.

Sangster G., Collinson M., Crochet, P.-A., Knox A.G., Parkin D.T., Svensson L., Votier, S.C. (2011): Taxonomic recommendations for British birds: seventh report. Ibis 153: 883-892.

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

Voous K.H. (1973): List of recent holarctic bird species. Non-passerines. Ibis 115: 612-638.

Voous K.H. (1977a): List of recent holarctic bird species. Passerines. Ibis 119: 223-250.

Voous K.H. (1977b): List of recent holarctic bird species. Passerines (conclusion). Ibis 119: 376-406.

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