HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1
Josep del Hoyo, Nigel J. Collar
David A. Christie, Andrew Elliott, Lincoln D. C. Fishpool
Published by Lynx Edicions in association with BirdLife International
The first ever Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World is really two works in one. It is a complete checklist whose taxonomy incorporates the most up-to-date information and an exhaustive methodology (Tobias et al. 2010) in an entirely systematic and consistent way. At the same time, it contains illustrations and distribution maps for every bird species in the world. This includes the original artwork from the HBW series, as well as hundreds of new illustrations, all in two compact volumes.
Institutions that have adopted the taxonomy and nomenclature of the Illustrated Checklist
It continues to grow in influence and importance, especially in terms of bird conservation.
The Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA):
In its resolution on amendments to the AEWA Annexes (AEWA MOP6 DR1 Rev.1), the MOP, inter alia:
The European Union:
The European Union has adopted the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World (Volume 1) as the standard reference for bird taxonomy and nomenclature for non-passerine species. The HBW-Birdlife Checklist will be used for the updated EU bird list (see the announcement in the European Comission website). As well as the Birds Directive, this list will also be used for the implementation of the Directive on the protection of the environment through criminal law and the Directive on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage.
The United Nations Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS):
In November 2014 the HBW-Birdlife Illustrated Checklist was adopted by the United Nations Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) as the standard reference for bird taxonomy and nomenclature for non-passerine species.
During the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CMS (COP11), celebrated in Quito, Ecuador 4–9 November 2014, the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World Volume 1: Non-passerines was officially adopted as the CMS standard reference for bird taxonomy and nomenclature for non-passerine species. The same resolution requests the CMS Scientific Council to consider the future adoption of Volume 2: Passerines, due to be published in 2016, as a standard reference for passerine bird taxonomy and nomenclature. Logically, this taxonomy has also been adopted by BirdLife International and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), including The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM.
The International Union for Conservation of Naure (IUCN), including the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
What reviewers are saying about the Checklist:
"The checklist itself is bound to become a very popular choice, being backed up by the BirdLife International, and as a matter of fact, it has been adopted by the United Nations Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, and also by the European Commission to be used in their decision-making. The modern taxonomic approach also seemingly does have benefits when it comes to bird conservation. Further, because of the illustrations, this is the most handsome and lister-friendly checklist of them all. It is simply an amazing book and an undisputed titan of its kind."
"This book is unique. It is evolutionarily distinct, it fills its own bibliographical niche and has no competitors. And like any species that is radically different from its nearest relatives, it is original and captivating. I am not perhaps a typical checklist user, since I do not maintain a life list and do not feel particularly compelled to keep on top of the latest taxonomic arrangements, yet I have already spent entire days browsing the contents, and have the book placed for easy reference right next to my desk so that I can consult it as I work. If I have enjoyed it so much, those who want to anticipate the next split will find the book impossible to resist."
"So, 904 pages later, should you have it? Simply, yes. The book is a stunning visual collection of approximately half of the world’s birds, with sufficient text to satisfy those who want to know more about any species. In time, it might be the most used bird book you will ever own–whether just looking at the pictures, planning your next birding adventure or reliving previous ones."
"Whether or not you already own the full set of HBW, this ‘HBW-lite’ represents a handy, up-to-date and authoritative overview of the World’s birds."
"Both volumes are a “must have” for ornithologists and are certainly great value for money."
"So is this book really useful? Without question it is. It is now the most current and up-to-date checklist of world birds. It has been assembled by people who have spent over twenty years evaluating and deciding the taxonomic issues related to birds. It is a complete checklist of the non-passerine species using the most up-to-date taxonomy. Having both an illustration and a range map alongside of the species entry is a real blessing. It is an essential purchase for researchers and for all those engaged in world-wide birdwatching. Even if you are not a combat lister, you still need to know which species you have seen and where."
"In my opinion this is, up to now, the best, clearest and most aesthetically pleasing checklist I have ever had the pleasure of studying. /.../ This provides a brilliant overview of each genus and family, with the birds’ appearance and distribution, name, status and subspecies presented for every species. Working on the HBW series has given the editors such great experience in how to produce a clear and elegant layout, that the presentation of the Illustrated Checklist is simply brilliant."
“HBW Checklist is clearly in a class of its own. Having a full checklist of all the non-passerine species and subspecies, together with illustrations and maps in one remarkable volume, simply cannot be beaten.”
“As an overall package, this checklist cannot be recommended highly enough.”
“This list is now a benchmark, a reference that is hard to be ignored.”
“It will surely become the new definitive taxonomy (at least until its next update).
Read this news release from BirdLife International.
In this Checklist, a modern, broad version of the Biological Species Concept (BSC) has been applied, with the aid of the scoring system to evaluate differences in morphology, vocalizations, ecology and geographical relationships published in Ibis by Tobias et al. (2010)*. For the non-passerines, this has resulted in relatively few lumps (21) but a much higher number of splits, 462 in total at the time of writing, compared with the taxonomy presented in the HBW series. Groups with major changes in species numbers include:
* J.A. Tobias, N. Seddon, C.N. Spottiswoode, J.D. Pilgrim, L.D.C. Fishpool & N.J. Collar (2010). Quantitative criteria for species delimitation. Ibis. 152: 724–746.
An extensive introduction, with many illustrated examples, explains the rationale and advantages of the taxonomic system adopted in the Checklist, as well as how to use the book.
Two appendices cover all the species considered to have become extinct since 1500. The first gives full treatment, including text, illustration and former range map, for the extinct species known from complete specimens. The second provides information for the extinct species not known from complete specimens.
Large-format maps offer the reader assistance in interpreting the distribution sections. They provide both administrative and physical details, for greater clarity of use.
The Handbook of the Birds of the World (HBW) is the first work ever to illustrate and deal in detail with all the living species of birds. The 17-volume encyclopaedia contains texts and illustrations from 277 authors and 33 illustrators from 40 countries. The highly acclaimed series is the starting point for this Checklist, so the project already includes the work of a large group of specialists from around the world.
About BirdLife International
BirdLife International is the world’s largest nature conservation Partnership. Together we are 120 BirdLife Partners worldwide – one per country – and growing, with 13 million members and supporters, over 7,000 local conservation groups and 7,400 staff.
About the Authors
Josep del Hoyo: Editor, Handbook of the Birds of the World (1992–2013); Director, HBW Alive; Member, BirdLife International Global Council (2004–2013); Vice- president, Spanish Ornithological Society SEO/BirdLife (1994–2008).
- Lynx Edicions Publications
- Natural History Bookstore
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