| Authors||K.H. Voous, M.F.I.J. Bijleveld|
|Title||A note on Himalayan Buzzards, Buteo buteo (Aves)|
|Abstract||VAURIE (1961) in a recent review of the geographical races of the Common, or Eurasian, Buzzard (Buteo buteo (Linnaeus)) has found no evidence in favour of the recognition of a West Chinese or Tibetan mountain race of that species. Even less he considers it likely that the Buzzard nests in mountain forests in the Himalayas. In his conclusion he is at variance with PORTENKO (1929 : 644) who described a special race from the Cham region in East Tibet and mentioned specimens ascribed to this race from West China, Darjeeling, Sikkim, and the northwestern Himalaya. This race, originally described as Buteo japonicus saturatus, was re-named by PORTENKO in 1935 Buteo japonicus refectus on nomenclatorial reasons (Orn. Monatsb., 43 : 152). It was considered by HARTERT & STEINBACHER (1932—38) as a synonym of Buteo buteo burmanicus Hume and by VAURIE (1961) as a synonym of Buteo buteo japonicus Temminck & Schlegel. Neither the question of the occurrence of Buzzards as breeding birds in the Sino-Himalayan mountains, nor the nomenclature of Buzzards actually collected in these regions has at present been solved. Still, the Buzzard is mentioned to breed in Tibet and Ladakh by both RIPLEY (1961) and ALI (1962) under the name of burmanicus, but not in Sikkim (ALI, 1962).|
For zoogeographical reasons the occurrence of a Sino-Himalayan race of Common Buzzard would be most interesting since these mountain populations would enclose a Central Asiatic group of buzzards living in semi-deserts and cold steppes (B. rufinus and B. hemilasius). These Central Asiatic high plateau buzzards occur south of the forest-inhabiting Common Buzzards from Siberia and are sometimes considered as conspecific, or almost so, with the whole group of Buzzards of the species Buteo buteo. The breeding range and the characters of the mountain buzzards therefore have those noteworthy zoogeographical complications in that they would indicate an additional ecological basis for the subspecies formation in this group of raptors.
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