One of the major advantages in using BUBO Listing over maintaining your lists yourself is that we handle the taxonomic updates from all authorities. Thus the effort in updating your own lists so that they always reflect the latest taxonomic thinking is minimal. To coincide with our upcoming support for the latest Clements World List updates, and the introduction of the IOC World List in BUBO Listing, we have enhanced the way records of species that have been "split" or "lumped" are handled.

Firstly when we split or lump a species, that species is treated as "old" and is hidden from each list that it is on, and the list total is reduced accordingly. Thus when viewing lists on BUBO Listing these old taxa will not be included, and you can be sure that when you compare lists you are always comparing lists that follow the up to date taxonomy.

The old taxa can be seen and updated when you view your own lists using My Lists. Any list that has old taxa on it, i.e. has pending taxonomic updates, is highlighted in yellow. When you move the mouse over it the particular list is highlighted and displays a message, as in the example below.

Taxonomic Updates

Both View/Edit List and Batch Edit then show the affected old taxa highlighted similarly. When you move the mouse over a particular old taxon a message is displayed to explain the update, i.e. details of the lump or split. The example below shows the Clements split of Greenish Warbler.

Taxonomic Updates

taxonomicupdatesTo find all the taxonomic updates pending on the list, you can "show only the pending taxonomic updates", which will filter out species not affected by any changes in taxonomy.

Lumps

To process a lump you need to add the new lumped taxon and remove the old taxon from your list.

You may have seen more than one of the taxa being lumped, in which case you should add the new taxon with the date and location of the earliest sighting (if available). You might also like to add a comment (especially where lumping means you lose a species from your list!). When you remove the old taxon (by unchecking the seen box) it will be completely removed from your list since it no longer has any relevance.

Splits

To process a split, you need to add whichever of the new split taxa you have seen and remove the old taxon from your list.

This can be more complicated than a lump: you may have seen several of the new taxa, or you may not know which of them you have seen. If you have seen several then just add them all and remove the old taxon when done. If you don't know, either because your original sighting(s) were not identified to subspecies or because you don't know which of the new taxa occurs in that location, then you have a few options. BUBO Listing includes distribution information for some authorities, so if you move the mouse over one of the new taxa you can see where it occurs and in most cases this will make it clear which new taxon (or taxa) you require. If this doesn't help then you may need to refer directly to the authority in question or you can post in the BUBO forums and someone can probably help you out. Alternatively you could just ignore the update, in which case the old taxon will stay visible to you as a pending update but will not be displayed publicly, or included in your total. Or just remove it - it was effectively an unidentified species and won't be included in your list total anyway.

Note that, depending on the names chosen by the authority, you may find the apparently confusing situation where a species appears to be split into itself! For example, the December 2009 Clements updates split Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides into Green Warbler P. nitidus and Greenish Warbler P. trochiloides. Whilst initially this may sound confusing, it should be noted that it is the decision of the authority to keep the same English and scientific names for one of the new taxa that is the cause of this: the "new" Greenish Warbler P. trochiloides is not actually the same as the "old" Greenish Warbler P. trochiloides, because it no longer has a nitidus subspecies. It is important for BUBO Listing to keep a distinction so that we can tell whether all pending taxonomic updates have been processed or not, and to make it more accurate when copying lists from one authority to another (e.g. when copying your Clements world list to an IOC world list).

In the future we may automate this process further, e.g. by allowing you to specify which of the new taxa to add and then copying across details from the old taxa, and then removing it, automatically.

As with other aspects of BUBO Listing, if you have any comments or suggestions please let us know, either directly or via the forums.