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eBird India Taxonomists reclassified Indian bird species

Aug 25, 2015 17:37 IST

The taxonomists from eBird India on 17 August 2015 reclassified some of the famous India bird species. The taxonomists gave out a list of species that includes all species, subspecies groups, hybrids, intergrades, spuhs, slashes, domestics, and forms.

The renaming of birds and associated changes are inevitable as new techniques and better understanding of taxonomy cause a rearrangement, even in a relatively well-studied group of creatures like birds.

Here are the few changes:

• The majestic Asian Paradise Flycatcher bird will now be known as Indian Paradise Flycatcher, following a new taxonomic assessment. However, it will retain its scientific name Terpsiphone paradisi and remain the parent species.
• Bird taxonomists have separated the subspecies found in the Nicobars. The new subspecies has been rechristened as Blyth’s Paradise Flycatcher will a new scientific name Terpsiphone affinis nicobarica.
• Besides the Indian Paradise Flycatcher, a few more bird species found in India and other parts of the world have been renamed this month as part of an annual exercise.
• The Purple Swamphen found in India has been reclassified as Grey-headed Swamphen and it will carry the scientific name Porhyrio poliocephalus. The literal meaning of poliocephalus is grey-headed.
• Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) has now got a new species. The buzzard, found in the Himalayas, will from now be known as Buteo buteo burmanicus.
• Taxonomists have split the Scaly Thrush into four species. These are Nilgiri Thrush (Zoothera neilgherriensis) of the Western Ghats, the Scaly Thrush (Zoothera dauma) of central, northern and north-eastern India, Thrush (Zoothera imbricata), which is endemic to Sri Lanka.

 About eBird India Taxonomists

eBird India is an online platform of ornithologists and birders. Each year, the ebird taxonomists release the updated list of birds and their species in the month of August. While, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology maintains the ever-changing list of species, subspecies, English names, and approximate distributions.

The taxonomists use the technique of Molecular taxonomy as the tool for identifying species. If two individuals of a species show genetic differences or exhibit genetic distances in its DNA analysis, such individuals can be considered as belonging to two different species.

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