Proposal (106) to South American Classification Committee


Change English name of Patagioenas oenops


Effect on South American CL: This proposal would change the English name of a species on our list from a "Meyer de Schauensee" name ("Peruvian Pigeon") to a "Ridgely" name ("Marañon Pigeon").


Background: Meyer de Schauensee (1966, 1970) used the name "Peruvian Pigeon" for Patagioenas oenops, and this has been followed by essentially all literature, until Ridgely & Greenfield (2001) changed this to "Marañon Pigeon," with the following note:


"The species is usually called the Peruvian Pigeon (e.g., Meyer de Schauensee 1966, 1970), though as its range is confined to the upper Río Marañón drainage, and as so many other pigeons occur more widely in Peru, it seems much more helpful to give it a more restricted geographic epithet."

They also noted that the species is now known from a sight record from the Marañón drainage of extreme S Ecuador.


"Marañon Pigeon" was used by Gibbs et al. (2001), but not by Clements and Shany (2001).


Analysis: If we were starting from scratch, then I'd vote for "Marañon," a slightly better name. However, "Peruvian" has been used for 35+ years, and not even Clements & Shany went along with this one.


Recommendation: I vote NO on this proposal. In this case, I do not think the "improved" name is worth overturning at least 35 years of consistent usage, unless Tom tells us that the new Peru book will use "Marañon."


Literature Cited:

CLEMENTS, J. F., AND N. SHANY. 2001. A field guide to the birds of Peru. Ibis Publ. Co., Temecula, California.

GIBBS, D., E. BARNES, AND J. COX. 2001. Pigeons and doves. Yale University Press, New Haven.

MEYER DE SCHAUENSEE, R. 1966. The species of birds of South America and their distribution. Livingston Publishing Co., Narberth, Pennsylvania.

MEYER DE SCHAUENSEE, R. 1970. A guide to the birds of South America. Livingston Publishing Co., Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.

RIDGELY, R. S., AND P. J. GREENFIELD. 2001. The birds of Ecuador. Vol. II. Field guide. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York.


Van Remsen, March 2004




Comments from Stiles: "NO. Once again, if we start to get into the business of tinkering with English names, substituting every time a slightly better one comes along, we'll never finish. The old, accepted name isn´t inaccurate (how many other pigeons are nearly or quite endemic to Peru?), so I see no reason to change it."


Comments from Nores: "NO. Pienso que el cambio no ayudaría mucho como para cambiar un nombre usado por 35 años. Además, el hecho de haberla hallado recientemente en el drenaje del Marañón implica que la distribución de la especie no es tan conocida y por lo tanto puede aparecer en algún lugar fuera del Marañón."


Comments from Jaramillo: "NO -- there is no real good reason to do so. I would point out that Peruvian Pigeon and West Peruvian Dove could confuse, or annoy. Maybe I have just volunteered to write a proposal to change West Peruvian Dove to Pacific Dove. Whoops."


Comments from Zimmer: "NO. As pointed out by others, the name is not inaccurate, and it is established."


Comments from Stotz: "YES. I very seldom vote to change an English name, but Peruvian Pigeon for a bird restricted to the Maranon Valley? I have to agree with Bob on this one."