Woodland bird classification and its consequences

Is the striated pardelote
Is the Striated Pardalote a woodland bird? Experts are divided! Image by Grahame Bowland, used under Creative Commons License.

I’m proud to share the first publication of PhD student Hannah Fraser, who I co-supervise. During her Masters work, Hannah noticed inconsistencies in the ways that different studies identified Australian woodland birds and she wanted to dig deeper. She really has! In this work, she summarises the literature on nomenclature, measures the inconsistency in Australian woodland bird classification in the research literature, polls study authors on their choices, and demonstrates the quantitative effects of this inconsistency. SPOILER ALERT: there are consequences for conservation. So let’s be transparent, if not consistent.

Head over to Hannah Fraser’s blog for a more detailed summary of the article. The full article is open access so you’re free to geek out over it too!


Fraser, H., Garrard, G.E., Rumpff, L., Hauser, C.E. & McCarthy, M.A. (2015) Consequences of inconsistently classifying woodland birds. Frontiers in Ecology & Evolution 3:83. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2015.00083