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.
The Illustrated Checklist by Numbers
Volume 1: Non-passerines
Volume 2: Passerines
Institutions that have adopted the taxonomy and nomenclature of the Illustrated Checklist
The Illustrated Checklist continues to grow in influence and importance, especially in terms of bird Conservation.
The European Bird Census Council (EBCC):
The European Bird Census Council (EBCC) officially adopted the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World as their reference for nomenclature and taxonomy. It will be implemented in all of the supra-national projects coordinated by EBCC, including the European Breeding Bird Atlas, EuroBirdPortal and Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme.
With this latest resolution the HBW-BirdLife Illustrated Checklist increases its influence as the taxonomy and nomenclature followed by most European countries.
The European Union:
The European Union adopted the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World as the standard reference for bird taxonomy and nomenclature. It is used most importantly for the EU’s official list of birds, which guides the Birds Directive, whose goal is to protect all of the wild bird species naturally occurring in the European Union. This list is also 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):
During the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Conservation of Migratory Species (COP 12), celebrated in Manila, Philippines, in October 2017, the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, Volume 2: Passerines was adopted as the CMS standard reference for bird taxonomy and nomenclature for passerine species.
Given that at COP 11, celebrated in Quito, Ecuador 4-9 November 2014, the CMS adopted Volume 1: Non-passerines as the standard reference for non-passerine species, with the adoption of Volume 2 the HBW-BirdLife Illustrated Checklist was confirmed as the definitive reference for bird taxonomy and nomenclature across all of the parties, which will hopefully facilitate the implementation of conventions and conservation tools with a direct benefit to the birds being protected.
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 International Union for Conservation of Naure (IUCN), including the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species:
The HBW-BirdLife Illustrated Checklist was also adopted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), including The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(TM), for which BirdLife International is their “IUCN Red List bird authority“. We continue to feel proud of the influence and importance of the Illustrated Checklist, especially in terms of bird Conservation.
This checklist containing all bird species of the world is an amazing work. The two volumes of the checklist (passerines and non-passerines) are a concise version of HBW. All the species illustrations from HBW are there and each species has an abridged species account, just like a checklist should be. The drawings are wonderful and it is a pleasure just watching them even without searching something in particular. It is not only a scientific book but also a piece of art.
In addition there is something very special about this checklist: each volume has an appendix which contains extinct species, many of them are also illustrated (e.g. Dodo and Rodrigues solitaire). This feature makes these two volumes even more valuable.