A Classification of the Bird Species of South America

Abstract: 

"The South American Classification Committee is an official committee of the American Ornithologists' Union whose mission is to create a standard classification, with English names, for the bird species of South America. This classification is subject to constant revision by the proposal system to allow incorporation of new data. The SACC hopes to have this classification published as a printed document within a year or so. The starting point for the classification was a pre-publication draft of Dickinson (2003); the published version differed in a few minor ways from the version used for the starting point (as noted in the Notes sections below). The classification herein consists mainly of the ranks Order, Family, Genus, and Species. Most traditional subfamilies are omitted unless supported by multiple independent data sets that mark major, deep branches within a family. Subspecies are omitted for now; a future edition will also include the Subspecies rank as designating diagnosable populations (equivalent to phylogenetic species sensu Cracraft) within taxa accorded species rank, as well as synopses of distribution. We recognize the importance of this level of classification for many kinds of analyses but are unable to provide a comprehensive evaluation of which currently recognized subspecies represent valid taxonomic units in terms of diagnosability. See Dickinson (2003) for a preliminary assessment of valid subspecies of South American birds, as well as various volumes of the Handbook of the Birds of World (Lynx Edicions, Barcelona). The region covered by the list is: (1) continental South America and all islands within 1200 km of its shores eastward into the Atlantic and westward into the Pacific oceans (including Malpelo, the Galapagos islands, San Felix and San Ambrosio, the Juan Fernandez islands, Fernando de Noronha, Trindade, Martin Vaz, São Pedro and São Paulo Archipelago, and the Falklands/Malvinas); (2) islands in the Caribbean Sea close to South America and not covered by the AOU Checklist (including Netherlands Antilles, Trinidad and Tobago); and (3) waters within 200 nautical miles of the coasts of these land areas, including the islands. A species is included on the list if the evidence for its occurrence in the area is supported by tangible evidence that is available for verification, namely a museum specimen or an archived or published photograph, videotape, or sound recording. The main list currently includes 3,330 species (3094 native breeding species, 1 of which is extinct; 147 nonbreeding residents; 75 vagrants; 14 established, introduced species). Of these, 103 newly discovered species have been described since the publication of Meyer de Schauensee's (1970) classic compilation of the species of birds of South America (i.e., at a rate of 2.5 species per year). Species whose presence is supported only by sight records, or by unpublished or non-archived tangible evidence, are placed on the Hypothetical List."

English Abstract: 

"The South American Classification Committee is an official committee of the American Ornithologists' Union whose mission is to create a standard classification, with English names, for the bird species of South America. This classification is subject to constant revision by the proposal system to allow incorporation of new data. The SACC hopes to have this classification published as a printed document within a year or so. The starting point for the classification was a pre-publication draft of Dickinson (2003); the published version differed in a few minor ways from the version used for the starting point (as noted in the Notes sections below). The classification herein consists mainly of the ranks Order, Family, Genus, and Species. Most traditional subfamilies are omitted unless supported by multiple independent data sets that mark major, deep branches within a family. Subspecies are omitted for now; a future edition will also include the Subspecies rank as designating diagnosable populations (equivalent to phylogenetic species sensu Cracraft) within taxa accorded species rank, as well as synopses of distribution. We recognize the importance of this level of classification for many kinds of analyses but are unable to provide a comprehensive evaluation of which currently recognized subspecies represent valid taxonomic units in terms of diagnosability. See Dickinson (2003) for a preliminary assessment of valid subspecies of South American birds, as well as various volumes of the Handbook of the Birds of World (Lynx Edicions, Barcelona). The region covered by the list is: (1) continental South America and all islands within 1200 km of its shores eastward into the Atlantic and westward into the Pacific oceans (including Malpelo, the Galapagos islands, San Felix and San Ambrosio, the Juan Fernandez islands, Fernando de Noronha, Trindade, Martin Vaz, São Pedro and São Paulo Archipelago, and the Falklands/Malvinas); (2) islands in the Caribbean Sea close to South America and not covered by the AOU Checklist (including Netherlands Antilles, Trinidad and Tobago); and (3) waters within 200 nautical miles of the coasts of these land areas, including the islands. A species is included on the list if the evidence for its occurrence in the area is supported by tangible evidence that is available for verification, namely a museum specimen or an archived or published photograph, videotape, or sound recording. The main list currently includes 3,330 species (3094 native breeding species, 1 of which is extinct; 147 nonbreeding residents; 75 vagrants; 14 established, introduced species). Of these, 103 newly discovered species have been described since the publication of Meyer de Schauensee's (1970) classic compilation of the species of birds of South America (i.e., at a rate of 2.5 species per year). Species whose presence is supported only by sight records, or by unpublished or non-archived tangible evidence, are placed on the Hypothetical List."

English Title: 
A Classification of the Bird Species of South America
Year of Creation: 
2002
Author: 
South American Classification Committee (SACC), American Ornithologists' Union
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