New cockatoo species and subspecies in Handbook of the Birds of the World

January 7th, 2015 | by LubosTomiska
New cockatoo species and subspecies in Handbook of the Birds of the World
Taxonomy
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According to the new taxonomy of birds comming from the kitchen of Joseph Del Hoyo (Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, del Hoyo and Collar 2014) , the group of black cockatoo species expanded. Up to now we have recognized four distinct cockatoo species in two genera Probosciger and Calyptorhynchus. The most popular one is probably the Palm Cockatoo ( Probosciger aterrimus ). It is still the only cockatoo species of Probosciger genus. However, it has four subspecies now, not three as it used to be. The new one was named Probosciger aterrimus macgillivray and it inhabits the northern part of York peninsula in Australia and a small part of New Guinea as well.

palm-cockatoo-probosciger-atterimus

Photo: Palm Cockato, © Doug Janson, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Black Palm Cockatoo and Red tailed Black Cockatoo stay in Calyptorhynchus anymore

Two old subspecies Probosciger aterrimus goliath and Probosciger aterrimus stenolophus stay without any change. Only the new subspecies occurs in Australia, the rest we will find on New Guinea and surrounding islands. The second genus of black cockatoos containted five separated cockatoo species up to the last year – the Red-tailed Cockatoo ( Calyptorhynchus banksii ), Yellow-tailed Black cockatoo ( Calyptorhynchus funereus ), Long-billed Black Cockatoo ( Calyptorhynchus baudinii ) and Short-billed Black Cockatoo ( Calyptorhynchus latirostris ). The first two cockatoo species stay in the same taxon. However, the last three species have been replaced to the new genus Zanda.

On the level of subspecies. The Red-tailed Black cockatoo has five subspecies now, not four as it used to be. They are Calyptorhynchus banksii banksii, Calyptorhynchus banksii naso, Calyptorhynchus banksii macrorhynchus, Calyptorhynchus banksii samueli, and Calyptorhynchus banksii graptogyne. The last is the new one. All subspecies of the Glossy Black Cockatoo stay without any change – Calyptorhynchus lathami lathami, Calyptorhynchus lathami erebus and Calyptorhynchus lathami halmaturiunus.

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White-tailed Black Cockatoo and Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo represent a new taxon Zanda

All three species look alike. The Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo ( Zanda funerea ) has the yellow ear marking while the Long-billed Black Cockatoo ( Zanda baudinii ) and the Short-billed Black Cockatoo ( Zanda latirostris ) the white instead. Another distinct characteristic is the length of the beak. As the name say, the first cockatoo species has a longer beak than the second. The Long-billed Black Cockatoo live occurs in inland of southwestern Australia while the Short-billed Black Cockatoo lives on the coast in the same area. Both white-tailed black cockatoos are far more rare then the yello-tailed. That’s one of the several causes why they were separated.

Soon after the new taxonomy arised, both white-tailed cockatoos were classified in the IUCN Red List as „endangered“ (EN). The BirdLife International estimates the size of population of the Long-billed Black Cockatoo on 1000 to 1500 individuals. In the case of the the Short-billed Black Cockatoo, the estimates are more promising – about 40 thousands. According to the prediction of ornithologists from Perth, both cockatoo species are under a serious threat of loosing their original habitats, nesting opportunities and food sources. Within three following generations, their population should have a half size.

The Gang-gang Cockatoo ( Callocephalon fimbriatum ) stays without any further changes.

Zanda_genus

Three new species of genus Zanda (from the left): Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo (Zanda funerea), Long-billed Black Cockatoo (Zanda baudinii) a Short-billed Black Cockatoo (Zanda latirostris) – Photo: Wikimedia Commons © David Cook Wildlife Photography, © Tony Keene, © David Free/Birdforum

Title photo:  Red-tailed Cockatoo © Peter Campbell, Wikimedia Commons

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