Investigator, taxonomist and author Per Alström will attend DBF16 and will give a talk entitled Is it a species or not?, a suggestive title that has the intention to address a hot issue today: the concept of species and how they are classified. Those birders who maintain checklists, especially if they are of worldwide scope, have had to reorder many of their lists or perhaps render the tick of a particular species as useless because that species has been split into several ones. The Iberian Chiffchaff or the Herring Gull are two good examples that Spanish birders came across not so long ago.
Per Alström will tell us why. Is this just a caprice of scientists? What is the base for this reorganization? Does it make sense? From a perspective that any birder can understand, Prof. Alström will unveil the secrets of classification of the animal kingdom in the 21st Century and how we can know that two species that look extremely similar to us from their external look can be told apart thanks to modern classification techniques.
He not only has discovered new species in the lab. Per Alström is also a keen field birder and has travelled around the world in a quest to discover new species. In Asia, he found two new species and rediscovered the location of some more that were thought to be extinct.