This calculation defines the species according to which specimens can reproduce among themselves, a premise, in the opinion of the researchers, "out of date", since the taxonomy of birds should use morphological and genetic methods.
Morphology and genetics
The research has examined 200 species of birds at random through a morphological approach, the study of physical characteristics such as plumage pattern or color, and determined that each investigated species gave rise to two new species.
The researchers also analyzed genetic studies, from which they estimated that the total number of birds would reach 20,000, although a second review of this potential genetic variability revealed a somewhat lower number.
“What is clear is that there is a greater diversity of birds in the world than we have considered until now,” explains SEO / BirdLife biologist Nicolás López, who emphasizes the need for “bird taxonomy in the future use both methods, the morphological and the genetic ”.
The environmental organization BirdLife International has recently promoted a comprehensive taxonomic revision of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, which has for the first time raised the number of known species above 11,000.
In the last month, the incorporation of 742 new species has been announced, one of them in Spain, the Gran Canaria blue finch, until now considered a subspecies of the Canary Island blue finch.