Counting provisional/pending species

11 Jun 2010 14:32 #391 by Mike Prince
Alan Whitehead raised an interesting point on his blog about "pending" species . As you will know, we add new species in advance of their official acceptance by the authority concerned so that birders can add them to their lists at the time of their sighting. If the record is subsequently not accepted by the authority then we would remove the sightings from all affected lists. The British House Finch is the most recent example. We feel that most birders prefer to see their list total including these pending species but, as Alan points out, this does lead to ambiguities in the "league tables" between birders who add these species immediately, and those that follow the authority to the letter.

Clearly viewing someone's list does show all the detail, and we also recommend the use of the list comments to indicate whether you are counting potentially "controversial" records, so it's not difficult to compare two people's lists. However, do BUBO Listers agree in general that our approach is the best option? Should we treat pending species differently? It would be interesting to hear more opinions.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

12 Jun 2010 05:11 - 12 Jun 2010 05:19 #393 by Simon Chidwick
Stating the obvious here, but basically the pending species fall into 3 categories - ones where the id and origin is not in doubt e.g Eastern Crowned Warbler, those where the id is in doubt e.g Elegant Tern (I see the Dawlish bird has now been given the dreaded 'Not Proven' tag by BBRC!) and those where the origin of the bird is in question e.g House Finch, and dare I say Citril Finch ;)

Also where do you draw the line at adding a species of arguable origin as pending? Should my Lesser Flamingo that flew past Norfolk this week be added as the record is going to be submitted?

If pending species are to be added then really it should only be those species over which there are no doubts over their id or origins, however personally I believe a BOU list should be just that, the BOU List, yes there will be a wait for official acceptance before new birds can be added, but everyones list will be comparable at all times, which is what sets this site apart from the other listing site where peoples 'British' list means whatever they want it to and makes any comparison impossible!

Last edit: 12 Jun 2010 05:19 by Simon Chidwick.

Please Log in to join the conversation.