17/06/2005
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Taxonomic changes to the British List

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Canada Goose is currently treated as a single polytypic species. Molecular, ecological and behavioural evidence suggest that populations of 'large-bodied' and 'small-bodied' taxa are best treated as separate species:

  • Greater Canada Goose (B. canadensis) - polytypic, with subspecies canadensis, fulva, interior, maxima, moffitti, occidentalis and parvipes).
  • Lesser Canada Goose (B. hutchinsii) - polytypic, with subspecies hutchinsii, leucopareia, minima and taverneri).

Note that B. c. parvipes, often referred to as a 'lesser' Canada Goose, is placed within the Greater Canada Goose group.

Greater Canada Goose is on Category C of the British List on the basis of the established naturalised population. No vagrant 'Canada Goose' had, prior to this recommendation, been assigned to subspecific level. Records will now be reviewed to determine whether any individuals can be assigned to either group.

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The British List remains on 568 species: (Category A = 547; Category B = 12; Category C = 9).

BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' UNION

The Natural History Museum, Tring, Hertfordshire HP23 6AP, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1 442 890 080
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7942 6150
Email: bou@bou.org.uk
Website: www.bou.org.uk/www.ibis.ac.uk