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Possibly Merge all North American rosy-finches into Leucosticte tephrocotis

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Possibly Merge all North American rosy-finches into Leucosticte tephrocotis

Rosyfinch
Administrator
The second round of AOU Check-list proposals was released last month with this disclaimer by blogger Nate Swick: "It's important to note that these are proposals on which the committee has yet to vote, or at least they have yet to make those decisions public, and as always there are some that are unlikely to make the cut formally but are still interesting from a systemics perspective for those who dig that sort of thing..."


A note from Billi Wagner reads, in part--

...(O)n the ABA blog they were discussing possible bird taxonomy changes, one that might interest you. -Billi

http://blog.aba.org/2013/05/2013-aou-check-list-committee-proposals-part-2.html

Merge all North American rosy-finches into Leucosticte tephrocotis

Undoubtedly the most controversial proposal on this particular docket. Examination of the sequence data from 201 rosy-finches of the three North American species, along with other Eurasian finch species, found that the North American rosy-finches are not as distinct as originally thought. The differences between them are primarily defined by local adaptation rather than historical relationships, theoretically making the whole rosy-finch complex on this continent an example of clinal variation, albeit one obscured by their patchy distribution.

I'm not a geneticist by any means (I can't even convincingly play one on TV), so I'm not sure what to make of all of this but the findings seem compelling. If lumped, it is proposed that the species go by the name American Rosy-finch.
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