Article
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

The taxonomic status of the geographically isolated population of Short-toed Snake-eagle Circaetus gallicus on the Lesser Sundas (=Nusa Tenggara) has been controversial. In the past they have been regarded as either a migrant population or a recently arrived resident population. Here we obtained DNA sequences from the mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene and combined genetic data with assessments of published and novel morphological data to clarify the taxonomic status of the Lesser Sundas population of C. gallicus. The cytochrome-b distance between the Lesser Sundas and Palearctic populations of C. gallicus is consistent with subspecific differentiation, indicating a possible divergence during one of the most recent Pleistocene glaciations. Although some of the morphological distinctions show overlap, the new subspecies can generally be diagnosed from nominate C. gallicus gallicus by being smaller and paler, and exhibiting less spotting and barring. Unlike nominate populations from mainland Eurasia, the new subspecies seems to lack pronounced sexual dimorphism. We here describe this new subspecies to science and discuss its biology and conservation status.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Indonesische Vögel sind durchschnittlich kleiner als paläarktische Populationen, doch das geringe Material in Museen erlaubte eine subspezifische Einstufung der Sunda-Population bisher nicht (Mees 1975(Mees , 2006. Ng et al. (2017) fanden eine geringe Differenzierung des cytb-Gens (0,4 %) zwischen indonesischen und paläarktischen Schlangenadlern, während die Unterschiede zwischen den Circaetus-Arten generell 4,3 bis 12,2 % betragen. Morphometrische Daten (Flügelspanne und Schwanzlänge) zeigen, dass paläarktische Weibchen ~ 8 % größer sind als solche von den Kleinen Sundainseln, bei Männchen sind die Unterschiede geringer (~ 2,5 %). ...
... gestreift als solche aus der Paläarktis. Aufgrund dieser Befunde halten es Ng et al. (2017) für angebracht, die Schlangenadler der Kleinen Sundainseln subspezifisch als C. g. sacerdotis von den paläarktischen Populationen abzutrennen. Benennung: Lat. ...
Article
Full-text available
This report is the thirteenth of a series and presents the results of a comprehensive literature screening in search for new bird taxa described in 2017, namely new genera, species and subspecies worldwide. We tracked names of four new genera, eight species and eight subspecies new to science, which were correctly described according to the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. The new genera are within Trochilidae, Leiotrichidae, Muscicapidae, and Thraupidae. One each of the new species refer to Trochilidae, Strigidae, Psittacidae, Pipridae, Rhinocryptidae, Meliphagidae, Muscicapidae, and Thraupidae; three belong to Passeriformes, the remainder to Non-Passeriformes. New subspecies were named within Apodidae (2), Accipitridae (1), Psittacidae (3), Paradisaeidae (1) and Aegithalidae (1). One new genus (Remsenornis, Thraupidae) fell in synonymy immediately after publication and another new genus name (Elliotia, Trochilidae) is preoccupied by an older genus name for a beetle und thus not available. The description of one new parrot species (Amazona, Psittacidae) most probably is based on aviary-bred hybrids. In several cases, the populations in question now considered to represent a new species were known since long (in genera Megascops, Myzomela, Sholicola). However, only substantial studies of type specimens of related species, songs, genetics and/or ecology led to description of new formerly unrecognized species. The descriptions of most new taxa concern the Neotropics (two genera, five species, three subspecies), Indo-Malaya (two genera and species each) and Austral-Papua (three new subspecies). The distributional areas of new species often are minute, consequently also the size of the populations concerned. Due to their limited ranges, species new to science are often already endangered when detected or newly defined. In a sequence by genus/species/subspecies, the newly described taxa have the following origins: Palaearctic (-/-/1), Neotropics (2/6/3), Indo-Malaya (2/2/1), and Austral-Papua (-/-/3). Multiple splits of widely distributed species refer to Southeast Asian swifts (Collocalia) and Atlantic/Pacific terns (Thalasseus). We suggest possible flaws in new descriptions and certain splits regardless of the species concept addressed.
... one or more species, some taxonomy committees refuse to acknowledge their validity until ad hoc studies assembling different sources of supporting information and/or producing pertinent genetic evidence are carried out (e.g. Saitoh et al. 2015;Ng et al. 2017;Rheindt et al. 2017;Lim et al. 2019;Tyler et al. 2020). ...
Article
Over the last two decades, vocal and genetic data have been extensively used in avian studies addressing taxonomic and systematic issues. However, even when multiple lines of evidence lean toward lumping or splitting of species, some taxonomic committees refuse to acknowledge their validity until convincing genetic evidence is produced and integrated with other sources of data. As a case in point, the genus Pseudocolaptes (Furnariidae) consists of three mostly allopatric and overtly distinct neotropical taxa differing in plumage and vocal features: the Streaked Tuftedcheek (P. boissonneautii), the Buffy Tuftedcheek (P. lawrencii), and the contentious Pacific Tuftedcheek (P. johnsoni). In this study, we assemble already available mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences to assess their taxonomy and to provide appointed committees with specific proof to ascertain the number of Pseudocolaptes species. Phylogenetic inference and species delimitation analysis indicate three species equally divergent from each other. We hope that this work will contribute to resolve the long-lasting taxonomical confusion regarding this genus, and that proper future conservation plans will be adopted to preserve each species within the inhabited biodiversity hotspot.
Article
Full-text available
Records of Bonelli’s Eagle Aquila fasciata renschi on 18 islands in the Lesser Sundas, from Lombok to the Tanimbar islands, in Indonesia and Timor-Leste are reviewed, and its taxonomic status examined. The species is resident on many islands, known to breed on several of the larger islands and is most abundant on Flores and Timor. It appears to be rare on Lombok and Sumba. There is minimal genetic differentiation between local subspecies A. f. renschi and nominate A. f. fasciata, suggesting only recent geographic isolation and that it should not be afforded species status. The species may have been introduced to the Lesser Sundas by traders or colonists in the past. The species’s biology and ecology are poorly known in Wallacea. It occurs in a wide range of sites from sea level to about 2,000 m, in wooded habitats with a preference for tropical forest. The sparse data on diet show that it feeds on introduced wild junglefowl Gallus sp., but presumably it also feeds on large-bodied frugivorous pigeons, other birds and small mammals. The two reports of nesting were in May and June–July. The frequency of records on Flores and Timor suggests that these populations are currently secure, but may be threatened by hunting, capture and deforestation. A predator of village chickens, it is likely to be targeted by local communities. Conservation priorities include distribution and population density surveys and awareness projects throughout its range.
Article
Full-text available
The Timor Bush Warbler Locustella timorensis was first collected by Georg Stein on Mount Mutis, West Timor in 1932, but there have been no confirmed field observations since. Here we report on the discovery of a new population of bush warbler on Alor (9 September 2009), which prompted a search for, and subsequent rediscovery, of the nominate Timor Bush Warbler (20 December 2009) in Timor-Leste. We also undertook the first bush warbler searches in the mountains on Atauro Island, and the first ornithological exploration of the mountains of Pantar and Wetar islands. On Alor, at least 13 male bush warblers were heard singing from shrub and grass beneath woodland and forest edge at 859–1,250 m. On Timor, at least 40 males were heard during December, April and July from tall grassland below Mount Ramelau (1,720–2,100 m), Timor-Leste. The song structure of the Alor and Timor birds is similar, and close to Javan Bush Warbler L. montis of Java and Bali, as well as to recordings of Russet Bush Warbler L. mandelli of mainland Asia and Benguet Bush Warbler L. seebohmi from the Philippines. The song of the Alor bird is substantially higher pitched (mean min/max 3,233–4,980 kHz) than the Timor bird (2,928– 4,761 kHz) and both are substantially higher pitched than Javan birds. Recordings of Russet Bush Warbler from mainland Asia are higher pitched than songs of all insular taxa, and the song of Benguet Bush Warbler is of a similar pitch to the Timor bird. Recent molecular studies have found that divergences between Javan Bush Warbler and the Russet Bush Warbler are slight, and the high degree of song similarity of the Alor and Timor populations to Javan Bush Warbler places them close to the Benguet Bush Warbler complex. The Timor Bush Warbler is recognised as 'Near Threatened' by IUCN, but this will require re-evaluation. On Alor, suitable habitat is extensive and under little threat, but grassland in the uplands of West and East Timor is intensively grazed and regularly burnt. Further field surveys are needed on both Timor and Alor to capture birds, clarify taxonomic relationships using molecular approaches, and further define habitat use and conserva-tion status. Bush warblers were not recorded from Pantar, Atauro and Wetar islands.
Article
Full-text available
A new statistical method for estimating divergence dates of species from DNA sequence data by a molecular clock approach is developed. This method takes into account effectively the information contained in a set of DNA sequence data. The molecular clock of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was calibrated by setting the date of divergence between primates and ungulates at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary (65 million years ago), when the extinction of dinosaurs occurred. A generalized leastsquares method was applied in fitting a model to mtDNA sequence data, and the clock gave dates of 92.311.7, 13.31.5, 10.91.2, 3.70.6, and 2.70.6 million years ago (where the second of each pair of numbers is the standard deviation) for the separation of mouse, gibbon, orangutan, gorilla, and chimpanzee, respectively, from the line leading to humans. Although there is some uncertainty in the clock, this dating may pose a problem for the widely believed hypothesis that the bipedal creatureAustralopithecus afarensis, which lived some 3.7 million years ago at Laetoli in Tanzania and at Hadar in Ethiopia, was ancestral to man and evolved after the human-ape splitting. Another likelier possibility is that mtDNA was transferred through hybridization between a proto-human and a protochimpanzee after the former had developed bipedalism.
Article
Full-text available
Comparative analysis of molecular sequence data is essential for reconstructing the evolutionary histories of species and inferring the nature and extent of selective forces shaping the evolution of genes and species. Here, we announce the release of Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis version 5 (MEGA5), which is a user-friendly software for mining online databases, building sequence alignments and phylogenetic trees, and using methods of evolutionary bioinformatics in basic biology, biomedicine, and evolution. The newest addition in MEGA5 is a collection of maximum likelihood (ML) analyses for inferring evolutionary trees, selecting best-fit substitution models (nucleotide or amino acid), inferring ancestral states and sequences (along with probabilities), and estimating evolutionary rates site-by-site. In computer simulation analyses, ML tree inference algorithms in MEGA5 compared favorably with other software packages in terms of computational efficiency and the accuracy of the estimates of phylogenetic trees, substitution parameters, and rate variation among sites. The MEGA user interface has now been enhanced to be activity driven to make it easier for the use of both beginners and experienced scientists. This version of MEGA is intended for the Windows platform, and it has been configured for effective use on Mac OS X and Linux desktops. It is available free of charge from http://www.megasoftware.net.
Article
Full-text available
Today, insular Southeast Asia is important for both its remarkably rich biodiversity and globally significant roles in atmospheric and oceanic circulation. Despite the fundamental importance of environmental history for diversity and conservation, there is little primary evidence concerning the nature of vegetation in north equatorial Southeast Asia during the Last Glacial Period (LGP). As a result, even the general distribution of vegetation during the Last Glacial Maximum is debated. Here we show, using the stable carbon isotope composition of ancient cave guano profiles, that there was a substantial forest contraction during the LGP on both peninsular Malaysia and Palawan, while rainforest was maintained in northern Borneo. These results directly support rainforest "refugia" hypotheses and provide evidence that environmental barriers likely reduced genetic mixing between Borneo and Sumatra flora and fauna. Moreover, it sheds light on possible early human dispersal events.
Article
Full-text available
With a standard set of primers directed toward conserved regions, we have used the polymerase chain reaction to amplify homologous segments of mtDNA from more than 100 animal species, including mammals, birds, amphibians, fishes, and some invertebrates. Amplification and direct sequencing were possible using unpurified mtDNA from nanogram samples of fresh specimens and microgram amounts of tissues preserved for months in alcohol or decades in the dry state. The bird and fish sequences evolve with the same strong bias toward transitions that holds for mammals. However, because the light strand of birds is deficient in thymine, thymine to cytosine transitions are less common than in other taxa. Amino acid replacement in a segment of the cytochrome b gene is faster in mammals and birds than in fishes and the pattern of replacements fits the structural hypothesis for cytochrome b. The unexpectedly wide taxonomic utility of these primers offers opportunities for phylogenetic and population research.
Article
Full-text available
We propose an improved version of the neighbor-joining (NJ) algorithm of Saitou and Nei. This new algorithm, BIONJ, follows the same agglomerative scheme as NJ, which consists of iteratively picking a pair of taxa, creating a new mode which represents the cluster of these taxa, and reducing the distance matrix by replacing both taxa by this node. Moreover, BIONJ uses a simple first-order model of the variances and covariances of evolutionary distance estimates. This model is well adapted when these estimates are obtained from aligned sequences. At each step it permits the selection, from the class of admissible reductions, of the reduction which minimizes the variance of the new distance matrix. In this way, we obtain better estimates to choose the pair of taxa to be agglomerated during the next steps. Moreover, in comparison with NJ's estimates, these estimates become better and better as the algorithm proceeds. BIONJ retains the good properties of NJ--especially its low run time. Computer simulations have been performed with 12-taxon model trees to determine BIONJ's efficiency. When the substitution rates are low (maximum pairwise divergence approximately 0.1 substitutions per site) or when they are constant among lineages, BIONJ is only slightly better than NJ. When the substitution rates are higher and vary among lineages,BIONJ clearly has better topological accuracy. In the latter case, for the model trees and the conditions of evolution tested, the topological error reduction is on the average around 20%. With highly-varying-rate trees and with high substitution rates (maximum pairwise divergence approximately 1.0 substitutions per site), the error reduction may even rise above 50%, while the probability of finding the correct tree may be augmented by as much as 15%.
Article
Full-text available
We assessed phylogenetic relationships for birds of prey in the family Accipitridae using molecular sequence from two mitochondrial genes (1047 bases ND2 and 1041 bases cyt-b) and one nuclear intron (1074 bases beta-fibrinogen intron 7). We sampled representatives of all 14 Accipitridae subfamilies, focusing on four subfamilies of eagles (booted eagles, sea eagles, harpy eagles, and snake eagles) and two subfamilies of Old World vultures (Gypaetinae and Aegypiinae) with nearly all known species represented. Multiple well-supported relationships among accipitrids identified with DNA differ from those traditionally recognized based on morphology or life history traits. Monophyly of sea eagles (Haliaeetinae) and booted eagles (Aquilinae) was supported; however, harpy eagles (Harpiinae), snake eagles (Circaetinae), and Old World vultures were found to be non-monophyletic. The Gymnogene (Polyboroides typus) and the Crane Hawk (Geranospiza caerulescens) were not found to be close relatives, presenting an example of convergent evolution for specialized limb morphology enabling predation on cavity nesting species. Investigation of named subspecies within Hieraaetus fasciatus and H. morphnoides revealed significant genetic differentiation or non-monophyly supporting recognition of H. spilogaster and H. weiskei as distinctive species.
Article
Full-text available
The evolutionary analysis of molecular sequence variation is a statistical enterprise. This is reflected in the increased use of probabilistic models for phylogenetic inference, multiple sequence alignment, and molecular population genetics. Here we present BEAST: a fast, flexible software architecture for Bayesian analysis of molecular sequences related by an evolutionary tree. A large number of popular stochastic models of sequence evolution are provided and tree-based models suitable for both within- and between-species sequence data are implemented. BEAST version 1.4.6 consists of 81000 lines of Java source code, 779 classes and 81 packages. It provides models for DNA and protein sequence evolution, highly parametric coalescent analysis, relaxed clock phylogenetics, non-contemporaneous sequence data, statistical alignment and a wide range of options for prior distributions. BEAST source code is object-oriented, modular in design and freely available at http://beast-mcmc.googlecode.com/ under the GNU LGPL license. BEAST is a powerful and flexible evolutionary analysis package for molecular sequence variation. It also provides a resource for the further development of new models and statistical methods of evolutionary analysis.
Article
Full-text available
jModelTest is a new program for the statistical selection of models of nucleotide substitution based on “Phyml” (Guindon and Gascuel 2003. A simple, fast, and accurate algorithm to estimate large phylogenies by maximum likelihood. Syst Biol. 52:696–704.). It implements 5 different selection strategies, including “hierarchical and dynamical likelihood ratio tests,” the “Akaike information criterion,” the “Bayesian information criterion,” and a “decision-theoretic performance-based” approach. This program also calculates the relative importance and model-averaged estimates of substitution parameters, including a model-averaged estimate of the phylogeny. jModelTest is written in Java and runs under Mac OSX, Windows, and Unix systems with a Java Runtime Environment installed. The program, including documentation, can be freely downloaded from the software section at http://darwin.uvigo.es.
Article
A new method called the neighbor-joining method is proposed for reconstructing phylogenetic trees from evolutionary distance data. The principle of this method is to find pairs of operational taxonomic units (OTUs [= neighbors]) that minimize the total branch length at each stage of clustering of OTUs starting with a starlike tree. The branch lengths as well as the topology of a parsimonious tree can quickly be obtained by using this method. Using computer simulation, we studied the efficiency of this method in obtaining the correct unrooted tree in comparison with that of five other tree-making methods: the unweighted pair group method of analysis, Farris's method, Sattath and Tversky's method, Li's method, and Tateno et al.'s modified Farris method. The new, neighbor-joining method and Sattath and Tversky's method are shown to be generally better than the other methods.
Chapter
The chapter provides an overview of the evolution of the avian mitochondrial genome from a broad perspective, mainly at a level of organization above the primary sequence level. It illustrates similarities and differences among the mitochondrial genomes of Aves and other vertebrate classes, and focuses on how some of these differences have provided unique opportunities to probe deep phylogenetic questions. Studies of systematic relationships frequently make use of direct comparison of DNA sequence information, from which estimates of branching order can be made, using an assortment of methods that include parsimony, maximum likelihood, and distance. Such approaches have provided a wealth of new information, and with the concurrent refinement of statistical or “quasistatistical” methods, allow the relative robustness of conflicting phylogenetic hypotheses to be evaluated. The use of major genomic rearrangements or other such “genomic landmarks” as characters for phylogenetic analysis provides a complementary approach to direct sequence comparison that may be unaffected by the problems of alignment or sequence saturation. Such approaches make the seemingly reasonable but unproven assumption that major rearrangements are unlikely to occur in the same manner more than once in the time period under consideration.
Article
The phylogenetic relationships within the New and Old World hawk-eagle assemblage (genus Spizaetus; Aves: Accipitridae) were studied using mitochondrial DNA sequences (cytochrome b, control region). Eighty-four specimens representing all Spizaetus species and almost all currently distinguished subspecies as well as 11 other booted and non-booted ÔeagleÕ genera from the Neotropics, Africa, Eurasia, South Asia and Australasia (Oroaetus, Harpia, Morphnus, Lophaetus, Stephanoaetus, Hieraaetus, Aquila, Ictinaetus, Spilornis, Pithecophaga, Harpyopsis) were investigated. Although the basal branching could not be resolved, our investigations clearly indicate that hawk-eagles represent a paraphyletic assemblage and thus their external similarities have to be ascribed to convergent evolution. The New World taxa of Spizaetus cluster together, but the South American species Oroaetus isidori appears embedded within this clade. The taxa from Southeast to East Asia form a clearly separated monophyletic group. It is further divided into two subgroups, which are also characterized by distinct juvenile plumage patterns. Spizaetus africanus, the only African representative of the genus, is found in a mixed cluster consisting of members of the genera Aquila and Hieraaetus. These findings are in accordance with previous studies of other authors based on various molecular markers and different sets of taxa, but disagree with current taxonomy. Therefore, we suggest assigning the species of the genus Spizaetus to three different genera: (1) Spizaetus (including Oroaetus isidori) in Central and South America and (2) Nisaetus for the Southeast to East Asian group. (3) The African taxon (Spizaetus africanus) is discussed to be included into the genus Aquila. Furthermore, we propose to use the former genus name Lophotriorchis Sharpe, 1874, for the monotypic species Hieraaetus kienerii, which has an isolated phylogenetic position.
Article
DNA sequences from the mitochondrial ND2 gene were used to assess the taxonomic status of the Christmas Island Hawk-Owl Ninox natalis. Sequence variation was examined across 17 specimens representing 9 species and subspecies within the genus Ninox. The comparisons revealed a correlation between taxonomic level and genetic divergence with a clear separation between the levels of sequence divergence observed in comparisons involving individuals, subspecies and species. These observations provided strong endorsement for the use of DNA sequence data to assess the taxonomic status and phylogenetic relationships of N. natalis. Levels of sequence divergence recorded between the three forms of the N. squamipila complex examined (squamipila, hypogramma and natalis) ranged from 4.0% to 4.8%. These were comparable to the levels of divergence observed between obviously distinct species such as N. rufa and N. strenua (5.4%) and were consistently greater than observed among subspecies within the monophyletic N. novaeseelandiae complex (1.5% to 2.3% between novaesee-landiae, leucopsis and undulata). The genetic distinctiveness of all three forms of squamipila was also apparent from phylogenetic analysis of the data. Distance and parsimony methods both failed to identify any of the three forms of squamipila as forming a monophyletic assemblage. Based on the combined evidence (sequence divergence and phylogenetic position) it is concluded that squamipila, hypogramma and natalis each represent separate species in the genus Ninox. These findings have implications for conservation efforts in the region.
Article
INTRODUCTION Father Verheijen (in press) has given a narrative of his visit to Roti, with a list of all birds recorded from material, personal observations, and hearsay. Although several of Verheijen's own field observations are entirely reliable, other species mentioned by him cannot be regarded as of anything but very doubtful occurrence. Therefore I have considered it useful to compile a list of those birds which are now known from collected specimens. Previous to Father Verheijen's studies, ornithological knowledge of Roti rested entirely on a visit to the island made by the anthropologist Dr. H. F. C. ten Kate in 1891 (22 August — 9 September). During his stay ten Kate did some collecting of miscellaneous zoological objects, which he forwarded to Leiden. His first consignment, containing six bird skins representing five species, became the subject of a paper by Büttikofer (1892a), which is important as the only publication specifically dealing with birds from Roti. Two further small lots of birds forwarded by ten Kate: 8 specimens in October 1892 and 10 in 1893, were not published as such, but ten Kate (1894), Finsch (1901a, 1901b), van Oort (1909, 1910) and Mees (1961a) mentioned five species in addition to the five recorded by Büttikofer. The eight specimens of ten Kate's second lot were received in spirits; apparently five of them were useless and have been thrown away, two may have been made into study-skins but are missing, and one was prepared as a skeleton. The last lot consisted of skins, but of these also some cannot now be found. This leaves a total of 15 skins and one skeleton, in 13 species, all of which will be recorded in the following list.
Article
A partial sequence of the cytb gene (382 bp) was amplified and sequenced from 35 individuals (mainly museum specimens) of the genus Pernis representing all valid taxa (10) and two taxa (P. p. gurneyi, P. p. japonicus) with questionable validity as well as representatives of the Old World Perninae, namely Henicopernis and Aviceda, to assess their relationships to the genus Pernis. Furthermore, Gypaetus barbatus, Neophron percnopterus, and Buteo buteo were included as outgroup taxa. In the trees derived from the sequence data, Aviceda represents the sister group of the genus Pernis. The genus Henicopernis and the Old World vultures Gypaetus and Neophron appear rather distantly related to Pernis. Within the genus Pernis, two of the described species (Pernis apivorus, Pernis ptilorhyncus) form monophyletic groups, whereas the relationships of the two clades representing three subspecies of Pernis celebensis are still uncertain. Although this study is based on comparatively short DNA-sections, the trees deduced from these sequences can be considered as a first approach for inferring the phylogenetic relationships of the genus Pernis and related genera and for addressing questions concerning the evolutionary history, biogeography, and systematics of this group.
Article
The phylogenetic relationships within the New and Old World hawk-eagle assemblage (genus Spizaetus; Aves: Accipitridae) were studied using mitochondrial DNA sequences (cytochrome b, control region). Eighty-four specimens representing all Spizaetus species and almost all currently distinguished subspecies as well as 11 other booted and non-booted 'eagle' genera from the Neotropics, Africa, Eurasia, South Asia and Australasia (Oroaetus, Harpia, Morphnus, Lophaetus, Stephanoaetus, Hieraaetus, Aquila, Ictinaetus, Spilornis, Pithecophaga, Harpyopsis) were investigated. Although the basal branching could not be resolved, our investigations clearly indicate that hawk-eagles represent a paraphyletic assemblage and thus their external similarities have to be ascribed to convergent evolution. The New World taxa of Spizaetus cluster together, but the South American species Oroaetus isidori appears embedded within this clade. The taxa from Southeast to East Asia form a clearly separated monophyletic group. It is further divided into two subgroups, which are also characterized by distinct juvenile plumage patterns. Spizaetus africanus, the only African representative of the genus, is found in a mixed cluster consisting of members of the genera Aquila and Hieraaetus. These findings are in accordance with previous studies of other authors based on various molecular markers and different sets of taxa, but disagree with current taxonomy. Therefore, we suggest assigning the species of the genus Spizaetus to three different genera: (1) Spizaetus (including Oroaetus isidori) in Central and South America and (2) Nisaetus for the Southeast to East Asian group. (3) The African taxon (Spizaetus africanus) is discussed to be included into the genus Aquila. Furthermore, we propose to use the former genus name Lophotriorchis Sharpe, 1874, for the monotypic species Hieraaetus kienerii, which has an isolated phylogenetic position.
Article
The Javan hawk-eagle (Spizaetus bartelsi) is a threatened raptor endemic to the densely populated island of Java. Historically very little is known about its biology. Recent surveys showed that the population size has been underestimated in the past. The breeding population is estimated to be 137-188 pairs with a total of 600-900 birds and confirmed presence in 22 discrete forest blocks throughout Java. The eagles were present in isolated forest fragments as small as 3000 ha. Good dispersal abilities in juveniles, a niche width in habitat, which is broader than previously assumed, and rather opportunistic feeding behaviour are believed to mitigate the effects of habitat fragmentation. The appointment of the eagle as a flagship species involves serious risks, as it appears to have put the species on the list of rare birds that are in great demand with malevolent aviculturists
Article
The problem of selecting one of a number of models of different dimensions is treated by finding its Bayes solution, and evaluating the leading terms of its asymptotic expansion. These terms are a valid large-sample criterion beyond the Bayesian context, since they do not depend on the a priori distribution.
Article
Phylogenetic analysis of cytochrome-b sequences and cranial osteological characters for nine genera of corvine passerine birds supports the hypothesis that the two major groups of birds of paradise, the manucodines and paradisaeinines, constitute a monophyletic group and that their postulated sister group is the Corvidae (crows, jays, and allies). The data are also consistent with the hypothesis that the bowerbirds are not closely related to the birds of paradise but instead lie near the base of the corvine assemblage. The corvine radiation exemplifies a case of multiple star phylogenies embedded within a major clade, with the branching pattern characterized by very short internodal divergence times. Such histories are difficult to resolve no matter what type of data is employed, because little change accumulates between branching events. With respect to sequence data, reconstructed tree topologies are sensitive to the choice of outgroup and to the method of analysis (e.g., transversion vs. global parsimony). In such cases, assessing the "reliability" of a best-fit or most-parsimonious tree inferred from any particular data set becomes problematic. Statistical tests of tree topologies that depend on random sampling of characters will generally be inconclusive in that all cladistic components will tend to be poorly supported because relatively few character-state changes will be recorded between branching events. It is suggested, on the other hand, that congruence in cladistic signal across different data sets may be a potentially more useful method for evaluating the reliability of the signal of any one data set. Resolution of star phylogenies will probably be possible only if DNA sequence and morphological characters are combined in a single analysis.
Article
The phylogeny of 11 species of Old World vultures (Aves: Accipitriformes, Aegypiinae), three species of New World vultures (Cathartidae) and theri nearest relatives within and outside the order Accipitriformes was investigated based on 1026 nucleotides of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. The data support the contention that New World vultures are not birds of prey, but phylogenetic information was insufficient to identify whether they are closer to storks (Ciconiidae) or to Accipitriformes. Four species of Gyps are all closely related and probably speciated within the Pleistocene. Molecular data do not support the split of 'white-backed' vultures from Gyps in a separate genus Pseudogyps. The monotypic genera of large, heavy-billed vultures, Aegypius, Torgos, Trigonoceps and Sarcogyps, are of monophyletic origin. We propose to merge Torgos with Aegypius, but retain Trigonoceps and Sarcogyps as separate genera, Sarcogyps being clearly the most primitive of the four. All four, together with Gyps and Necrosyrtes, form a monophyletic subfamily or 'core group', to which the subfamily Aegypiinae should be restricted. This group shares a more recent common ancestor with several non-vulture genera of Accipitrids, among them Buteo, Aquila, Haliaeetus and Circaetus, than it does with the two aberrent vultures Gypaetus barbatus and Neophron percnopterus. The last two are much more primitive; they seem to be each other's sister species and are closer to Pernis than to other Accipitrids. We propose separating Gypaetus and Neophron in the subfamily Gypaetinae. If the cytochrome b gene tree accurately reflects vulture phylogeny, Old World vultures are polyphyletic with the Aegypius-Gyps clade having evolved convergently to the more ancient Gypaetus and Neophron vultures. Polyphyly of Old World vultures, although in conflict with the DNA-DNA hybridization phylogeny of Sibley & Ahlquist (1990), is well supported by molecular, karyotypic, morphological and other phenotypic evidence (behaviour, voice) indicating fundamental differences between the two evolutionary lines.
Article
Molecular clocks are widely used to date phylogenetic events, yet evidence supporting the rate constancy of molecular clocks through time and across taxonomic lineages is weak. Here, we present 90 candidate avian clock calibrations obtained from fossils and biogeographical events. Cross-validation techniques were used to identify and discard 16 inconsistent calibration points. Molecular evolution occurred in an approximately clock-like manner through time for the remaining 74 calibrations of the mitochondrial gene, cytochrome b. A molecular rate of approximately 2.1% (+/- 0.1%, 95% confidence interval) was maintained over a 12-million-year interval and across most of 12 taxonomic orders. Minor but significant variance in rates occurred across lineages but was not explained by differences in generation time, body size or latitudinal distribution as previously suggested.
Plumage differences and taxonomic status of three similar Circaetus snake-eagles
  • W S Clark
Clark, W.S. (1999) Plumage differences and taxonomic status of three similar Circaetus snake-eagles. Bulletin of the British Ornithological Club, 119, 56-58.
A Guide to the Birds of Wallacea
  • B J Coates
  • K D Bishop
Coates, B.J. & Bishop, K.D. (1997) A Guide to the Birds of Wallacea. Dove Publications, Alderley, Queensland, 535 pp.
Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago
  • J A Eaton
  • B Van Balen
  • N W Brickle
  • F E Rheindt
Eaton, J.A., van Balen, B., Brickle, N.W. & Rheindt, F.E. (2016) Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, 496 pp.
Ueber einige Raubvogel der Kleinen Sunda-Inseln
  • E Mayr
Mayr, E. (1941) Ueber einige Raubvogel der Kleinen Sunda-Inseln. Ornithologische Monatsberichte, 49, 42-47.
Die Vogelwelt von Lombok
  • B Rensch
Rensch, B. (1931) Die Vogelwelt von Lombok, Sumbawa und Flores. Mitteilungen vom Zoologischen Museum Berlin, 17, 451-637.
1862) Buteones. Muséum d'Histoire naturelle des Pays?Bas
  • H Schlegel
Schlegel, H. (1862) Buteones. Muséum d'Histoire naturelle des Pays?Bas, 2, 1-30.
1829) Papers on natural history
  • A Smith
Smith, A. (1829) Papers on natural history. South African Commercial Advertiser, 4, 2, col. 2.
The Status and Conservation of the Endangered Wetar Ground-dove (Gallicolumba hoedtii) and other Wildlife on Wetar Island
  • C R Trainor
  • Imanuddin
  • F Aldy
  • J S Walker
Trainor, C.R., Imanuddin, Aldy, F. & Walker, J.S. (2009) The Status and Conservation of the Endangered Wetar Ground-dove (Gallicolumba hoedtii) and other Wildlife on Wetar Island, Indonesia, 2008. Final Technical Report. Columbidae Conservation, Manchester, 86 pp.
Nouveau Dictionnaire d'Histoire Naturelle Appliquée aux Arts à l'agriculture, à l'économie rurale et domestique, à la médecine, etc
  • L J P Vieillot
Vieillot, L.J.P. (1818) Nouveau Dictionnaire d'Histoire Naturelle Appliquée aux Arts à l'agriculture, à l'économie rurale et domestique, à la médecine, etc. Vol. 23. Chex Deterville, Paris, 445 pp.
1851) Naumannia. Archiv für die Ornithologie, vorzugsweise Europa's
  • Von Muller
Von Muller, J.W. (1851) Naumannia. Archiv für die Ornithologie, vorzugsweise Europa's. Organ der deutschen Ornithologen-Gesellschaft, 1, 27.