Atlantic seabirds , Volume 1 - Issue 4 p. 191- 193
Camphuysen & Reid (1999) barely touch the surface of the problems posed by recent proposals to modify seabird taxonomy and nomenclature. Not only are there numerous differences between Dutch and British usage, but also similar ones between that of all the other comparable committees, countries and publications of the world. It should be remembered that this does not affect the birds, which remain the same whatever is said about them, but is merely an expression of opinion by the parties concerned, who seldom appear to know much about seabirds and problems in dealing with them, and whose views often cancel each other out. The nature of these problems may be illustrated by considering further the three groups of petrels that were discussed. Not only is there a difference of opinion between Voous (1973), who recognises three races of Soft-plumaged Petrel Pterodroma mollis, and the current Dutch systematic committee (CSNA; Sangster et al. 1999), who treat two of them as species Fea’s Petrel P. feae and Zino’s Petrel P. madeira. The Irish, who claim to follow Voous (1973), also call the last two Fea’s and the Madeiran Soft-plumaged Petrels (Milne & O’Sullivan 1998); it is not clear what they would now call P. molliscould it be “Soft-plumaged Soft-plumaged Petrel”? The Americans also call them the Cape Verde and Madeiran Petrels (Sibley & Monroe 1990), the last name conflicting with its widespread past use (still followed by Birding World) for the Madeiran Storm-petrel Oceanodroma castro. None of them has consulted the first recent author to treat them as species, who preferred their local names (Bourne 1983).
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