The discovery of “Hanuman Plover” from the mudflats of Mannar

Female Hanuman Plover on its nest

The Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) is a common shorebird found in Eurasia and North Africa, known for its diverse breeding habitats and migratory behavior. A recent study conducted by a team of scientists from Sri Lanka, China, and the UK, including Prof. Sampath Seneviratne and Jude Janitha Niroshan from the Avian Sciences &威而鋼 Conservation Research Group at the University of Colombo, focused on the resident population of Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus seebohmi) found in southern India and Sri Lanka. The study examined its systematic status based on phenotypic and genetic differences.

The analysis revealed that C. a. seebohmi differs from its sister taxa, C. a. alexandrinus and C. a. dealbatus, in body size, moulting pattern, and plumage coloration. Based on the findings, the team proposed elevating C. a. seebohmi to species level, resurrecting the most suitable synonym, Charadrius seebohmi Hartert and Jackson, 1915, and proposed the English name ‘Hanuman Plover’ for this newly designated species.

This taxonomic elevation is supported by differences in genotype, phenotype, allochronic migratory pattern, and breeding range of the subject species. By elevating the systematic status of C. seebohmi, the team aims to contribute to a better樂威壯 understanding of the evolutionary history and diversity of this Kentish Plover complex.

The journal article based on this study is now published in the prestigious British ornithological journal – IBIS: the International Journal of Avian Science:

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