Sunday, 27 July 2008

Another Taiwan Endemic ? - Grey-cheeked Fulvetta split

Taiwan Grey-cheeked Fulvetta (Alcippe morrisonia)

More good news for naturalists in Taiwan is the proposed Grey-cheeked Fulvetta split which proposes splitting three races of the Grey-cheeked Fulvetta Alcippe morrisonia into three species. One of which will raise the endemic Taiwan race A.m.morrisoniana to full endemic species status. The Grey-cheeked Fulvetta is a common Taiwan forest bird and large numbers are resident in the Hushan area.

It would appear that based on Zuo Fasheng et al (2007) Molecular phylogenetic analysis of the Grey-cheeked Fulvetta Alcippe morrisonia of China, Taiwan, and Indochina that a case of remarkable genetic divergence in the species exists. On chatting to a Taiwan based researcher who has worked with the species it would appear that the proposed split is largely being accepted by researchers locally in Taiwan.

South-eastern (Taiwan) Grey-cheeked Fulvetta Alcippe morrisonia

Northern Grey-cheeked Fulvetta Alcippe davidi

Western Grey-cheeked Fulvetta Alcippe fratercula

See Grey-cheeked Fulvetta split post by the Oriental Bird Club on
Mark Wilkie

While the science on this one looks pretty sound acceptance of the split has been slow and it has yet to be accepted by any of the major bird lists.

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