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Preface

Preface Without any doubt, 2015 will be a year to be remembered in Brazilian ornithology. We have lost two of our long time colleagues, pioneers who fulfilled t heir ornithological carriers in Brazil at a time when only a few ornithologists were active in the country: Rolf Grantsau and Edwin O. Willis. These unique individuals were, foremost, active field ornithologists who contributed tremendously to Brazilian ornithology, as their obituaries published herein demonstrate. On another regretful note, even though it was actually published in December 2014, the implications of the revised Brazilian list of threatened species were “digested” only in 2015. And this list came with some very bad news: three endemic Brazilian bird species restricted to the northeastern Atlantic Forest in the “Pernambuco Area of Endemism”, were officially declared extinct: the Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium mooreorum), the Alagoas Foliage-gleaner (Philydor novaesi), and the recently described Cryptic Treehunter (Cichlocolaptes mazarbarnetti). If we are to truly understand the impacts of the loss, fragmentation and degradation of the biosphere then we need to accurately describe the planet’s biodiversity. Even though the losses of Rolf and Ed Willis, as well as those of no less than three endemic species of birds are a major blow to ornithology and avian conservation, we cannot give up on the remaining near 2,000 species of Brazilian birds still in need of protection. To accomplish these goals, synthetic works such as checklists play a particularly important role by providing an overall perspective on species’ diversity and their basic knowledge within a given geographical or geopolitical area. The Brazilian Ornithological Recor ds Committee has been in charge of issuing updated checklists of bird species occurring in Brazil since 2005. Since then, advances in systematics and new taxonomic discoveries have continuously changed the sequence, names, and groupings of several avian taxa ranging from orders to species. Often times, these changes were so dramatic that users frequently lost track of where to find t he taxa they were looking for and the reasons why these changes occurred in the first place. In fact, the supporting information behind changes associated with every edition of the Checklist of the Birds of Brazil never figured within the actual c hecklist, but could be obtained indirectly only through the committee’s web page. Another shortcoming was that the origin of many recently “split” species could not be easily tracked down because subspecific taxa were not listed in the Checklist. As a rule, subspecies compilations are usually found in older, frequently major pre-internet taxonomic publications, now freely available online as bulky PDFs, which still makes the retrieval of any particular name a comparatively lengthy process. To counter all these shortcomings, the Brazilian Ornithological Records Committee embarked on a new project to compile a checklist of all currently valid avian taxa occurring in Brazil (including subspecies) based on multiple sources. At the same time, a synthesis on the systematic and taxonomic status of each taxon was provided whenever judged appropriate, particularly in instances of moderate to significant changes in the recent past, as well as if changes were anticipated for the near future. That these systematic and taxonomic notes are backed up b y the appropriate literature makes the process of tracking down and following up taxonomic changes through time more straightforward. The result of this multi-author project magnificently led by Vítor Q. Piacentini, the Brazilian Ornithological Records Committee coordinator, is published herein. Vítor’s careful and critical review of the nomenclatural, systematic and taxonomic literature set the standards for all remaining authors dealing with the taxonomic groups under their care. Special thanks go to Alexander C. Lees for overseeing the translation of many parts and critically revising the English text of this entire volume. Hopefully, 2015 won’t be known in Brazilian ornithology only because of unfortunate events. The newly published Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Brazil is finally out, and we hope that it will be of value to conservation efforts in Brazil. In fact, the associated notes provide a “road map” highlighting systematic and taxonomic research gaps which, if filled appropriately, could lead to the recognition and even the discovery of new species which will be future targets of conservation assessments. We dedicate this updated and enlarged Checklist to Rolf Grantsau and Ed Willis, therefore honoring their ornithological legacies, which were instrumental for the consolidation of the Checklist in itself. We hope that the knowledge summarized herein will allow for a more efficient conservation of the Brazilian avifauna, and t hat the sad stories of extinction in the “Pernambuco Area of Endemism” will not be repeated in other parts of the country. Alexandre Aleixo Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi / Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação, EDITOR IN CHIEF http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ornithology Research Springer Journals

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © Sociedade Brasileira de Ornitologia 2015
eISSN
2178-7875
DOI
10.1007/bf03544291
Publisher site
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Abstract

Without any doubt, 2015 will be a year to be remembered in Brazilian ornithology. We have lost two of our long time colleagues, pioneers who fulfilled t heir ornithological carriers in Brazil at a time when only a few ornithologists were active in the country: Rolf Grantsau and Edwin O. Willis. These unique individuals were, foremost, active field ornithologists who contributed tremendously to Brazilian ornithology, as their obituaries published herein demonstrate. On another regretful note, even though it was actually published in December 2014, the implications of the revised Brazilian list of threatened species were “digested” only in 2015. And this list came with some very bad news: three endemic Brazilian bird species restricted to the northeastern Atlantic Forest in the “Pernambuco Area of Endemism”, were officially declared extinct: the Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium mooreorum), the Alagoas Foliage-gleaner (Philydor novaesi), and the recently described Cryptic Treehunter (Cichlocolaptes mazarbarnetti). If we are to truly understand the impacts of the loss, fragmentation and degradation of the biosphere then we need to accurately describe the planet’s biodiversity. Even though the losses of Rolf and Ed Willis, as well as those of no less than three endemic species of birds are a major blow to ornithology and avian conservation, we cannot give up on the remaining near 2,000 species of Brazilian birds still in need of protection. To accomplish these goals, synthetic works such as checklists play a particularly important role by providing an overall perspective on species’ diversity and their basic knowledge within a given geographical or geopolitical area. The Brazilian Ornithological Recor ds Committee has been in charge of issuing updated checklists of bird species occurring in Brazil since 2005. Since then, advances in systematics and new taxonomic discoveries have continuously changed the sequence, names, and groupings of several avian taxa ranging from orders to species. Often times, these changes were so dramatic that users frequently lost track of where to find t he taxa they were looking for and the reasons why these changes occurred in the first place. In fact, the supporting information behind changes associated with every edition of the Checklist of the Birds of Brazil never figured within the actual c hecklist, but could be obtained indirectly only through the committee’s web page. Another shortcoming was that the origin of many recently “split” species could not be easily tracked down because subspecific taxa were not listed in the Checklist. As a rule, subspecies compilations are usually found in older, frequently major pre-internet taxonomic publications, now freely available online as bulky PDFs, which still makes the retrieval of any particular name a comparatively lengthy process. To counter all these shortcomings, the Brazilian Ornithological Records Committee embarked on a new project to compile a checklist of all currently valid avian taxa occurring in Brazil (including subspecies) based on multiple sources. At the same time, a synthesis on the systematic and taxonomic status of each taxon was provided whenever judged appropriate, particularly in instances of moderate to significant changes in the recent past, as well as if changes were anticipated for the near future. That these systematic and taxonomic notes are backed up b y the appropriate literature makes the process of tracking down and following up taxonomic changes through time more straightforward. The result of this multi-author project magnificently led by Vítor Q. Piacentini, the Brazilian Ornithological Records Committee coordinator, is published herein. Vítor’s careful and critical review of the nomenclatural, systematic and taxonomic literature set the standards for all remaining authors dealing with the taxonomic groups under their care. Special thanks go to Alexander C. Lees for overseeing the translation of many parts and critically revising the English text of this entire volume. Hopefully, 2015 won’t be known in Brazilian ornithology only because of unfortunate events. The newly published Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Brazil is finally out, and we hope that it will be of value to conservation efforts in Brazil. In fact, the associated notes provide a “road map” highlighting systematic and taxonomic research gaps which, if filled appropriately, could lead to the recognition and even the discovery of new species which will be future targets of conservation assessments. We dedicate this updated and enlarged Checklist to Rolf Grantsau and Ed Willis, therefore honoring their ornithological legacies, which were instrumental for the consolidation of the Checklist in itself. We hope that the knowledge summarized herein will allow for a more efficient conservation of the Brazilian avifauna, and t hat the sad stories of extinction in the “Pernambuco Area of Endemism” will not be repeated in other parts of the country. Alexandre Aleixo Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi / Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação, EDITOR IN CHIEF

Journal

Ornithology ResearchSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 1, 2015

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