EBCC Board decides on avian species list

All supra-national projects coordinated by EBCC, especially EBBA2, EuroBirdPortal and PECBMS, require binding decisions on the taxonomy and nomenclature employed for the birds. This demands a classification system that is standardized, trustworthy and globally accepted, and is also likely to stand the test of time. Since the publication of the first European bird atlas in 1997, many new insights on species- and higher-level taxonomic relationships have emerged, making a change of the species list necessary. After an information gathering process, the Board had to decide on one of the two classification systems that appeared most transparent and robust in their taxonomic decisions (IOC and BirdLife/HBW).

Testing a set of criteria, it turned out that only a system widely used by its main partners and institutions in conservation and biosciences could qualify as the chosen list. Cooperation in projects such as Red Lists, action plans, scientific analyses based on EBCC data, monitoring programmes, nature conservation policy, etc., will all require easy data exchange and conceptual congruence. Since BirdLife International is EBCC´s main network partner at the European level, Board decided that the “heaviest” criterion was to stay in accordance with their list. An extended version of the Board´s decision will be published in the next BCN (Foppen & Bauer in press).

Ruud Foppen & Hans-Günther Bauer (for the EBCC board) (2018): Proposal for nomenclature and taxonomy in EBCC. BCN in press.


Ruud Foppen