Resolving spurfowl taxonomy

17 Jul 2019 - 12:15

Tshifhiwa Mandiwana-Neudani, Rob Little, Tim Crowe and Rauri Bowie recently published a paper in the African journal of ornithology Ostrich titled ‘Taxonomy, phylogeny and biogeography of African spurfowls Galliformes, Phasianidae, Phasianinae, Coturnicini: Pternistis spp.’ They recommend the recognition of only one genus, Pternistis, and the use of “spurfowl” as its collective common name. Their proposed new system recognizes 25 species, elevating two of Hall’s subspecies (schuetti and cranchii) to species level and reduces the number of subspecies taxa from 59 to 16. Schuett’s Spurfowl which is separated from the Scaly Spurfowl occurs in eastern DR Congo extending east to Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi. While Cranch’s Spurfowl which is separated from the Red-necked Spurfowl occurs from southern DR Congo, northern Angola, northern Zambia, western Tanzania and Uganda. The attached photograph is of a Cranch’s Spurfowl from Lake Mburu National Park, Uganda, taken by Cliff Dorse. There will be a similar paper published on the ‘francolins’ which will also elevate a number of ‘new species’.

Download the article here ...