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Bulletin Vol. 2


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Bulletin of the Revegetation and Wildlife Management Center: Volume 2, No. 1, December 2007
Breeding Birds, Wintering Birds, and Subspecies
of White-Cheeked Geese
by
Bertin W. Anderson

PRICE: 5 $

Format: Adobe Acrobat File (PDF)
Publisher: AVVAR Books (May 2005)

Abstract

The study of geographic variation is one of the most interesting pursuits in evolutionary biology. Such pursuits have led some investigators to give subspecific names toe variants. Sometimes exuberance for naming subspecies has led to analyses lacking scientific rigor. Several recent authors, concerned with the lack of rigor, have recommended that, for birds, only breeding specimens should be used in order to be certain that only individuals of the local population are being included in analyses. Differences between putative subspecies should show a high degree of statistical diagnosability before trinomials are assigned. Failure to use modern analytical procedures can lead to assigning names that serve little purpose except to clutter the literature. On the other hand use of nonbreeding specimens in the analysis can lead to inclusion of so many foreign specimens that true geographic variation can be obscured. Investigators should also be thoroughly familiar with the birds they are studying. It is demonstrated that other than breeding birds are relevant to determining the taxonomic status of various populations of white-cheeked geese (Branta canadensis, B. hutchinsi).

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