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Biota Neotropica

On-line version ISSN 1676-0611

Biota Neotrop. vol.4 no.2 Campinas  2004 

An alternative species taxonomy of the birds of Mexico



Adolfo G. Navarro-SigüenzaI; A. Townsend PetersonII

IMuseo de Zoología “Alfonso L. Herrera,” Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 70-399, Mexico, D.F. 04510, Mexico;Corresponding Author: Adolfo G. Navarro-Sigüenza, Museo de Zoología “Alfonso L. Herrera,” Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 70-399, México, D.F. 04510, México; E-mail:
IINatural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas 66045 USA




Extensive debate has surrounded the application of alternative species concepts in Ornithology. The biological species concept (BSC) and phylogenetic species concept (PSC) have typically been set in opposition, with extensive debate on the relative merits of each. An alternative is the evolutionary species concept (ESC), which offers a perspective similar to that of the PSC, yet with several significant differences. To date, no major avifauna has been examined and compared among taxonomic viewpoints. Herein, we develop an alternative phylogenetic/evolutionary species taxonomy to the current BSC treatment for the more than 1000 bird species of Mexico. A total of 135 biological species was divided to produce a total of 323 phylogenetic/evolutionary species, 122 of which represent “new” endemic forms in Mexico.

Key words: Species concepts, avifauna, Mexico


Gran debate ha rodeado la aplicación de conceptos de especie alternativos en la Ornitología. El concepto biológico de especie (CBE) y el concepto filogenético de especie (CFE) han estado típicamente en contraposición, existiendo mucha discusión acerca de las ventajas relativas de cada uno. Una alternativa es el concepto evolutivo de especie (CEE), que ofrece una perspectiva similar a la del CFE, aunque con algunas diferencias importantes. A la fecha, no se ha examinado y comparado alguna avifauna regional desde el punto de vista del CBE y de los conceptos alternativos. En este trabajo desarrollamos una taxonomía alternativa a la existente en la actualidad bajo el CBE para las más de 1000 especies de aves de México. Un total de 135 especies biológicas fue dividido hasta producir un total de 323 especies filogenético/evolutivas, 122 de las cuales son “nuevas” formas endémicas al país.

Palabras-claves: Conceptos de especie, avifauna, México.



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Date Received 11/18/2003 - Revised 08/17/2004
Accepted 09/09/2004
ISSN 1676-0611

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