African Green Pigeon (Treron calvus) Subspecies. Clarity

While Birdlife International splits this into Grey-breasted Green-Pigeon & African Green-Pigeon, I believe iNat follows Clements and lumps the taxa. This subspecies: is the one that is a full species. The issue, some of these are from inland Zimbabwe which should be one of the two subspecies of the African Green-pigeon that ISN’T split here: vs . Note the distributions. I looked through the descriptions for Clements:

Treron calvus
Treron calvus [calvus Group]
Treron calvus nudirostris Senegal to Gambia and Guinea-Bissau
Treron calvus sharpei Sierra Leone to s Nigeria and n Cameroon
Treron calvus calvus eastern Nigeria to northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and central Angola
Treron calvus poensis Bioko I. (Gulf of Guinea)
Treron calvus virescens Principe Island (Gulf of Guinea)
Treron calvus uellensis South Sudan, northern Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda
Treron calvus brevicera SW Ethiopia to n Tanzania e of Rift Valley (except for coast)
Treron calvus salvadorii eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, southwestern Tanzania, Zambia, northern Malawi, and Mozambique
Treron calvus gibberifrons southeastern South Sudan south to the Lake Victoria Basin in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, western Kenya, and northwestern Tanzania
Treron calvus wakefieldii coastal Kenya and northeastern Tanzania
Treron calvus schalowi eastern Angola, northeastern Namibia, northern Botswana, and northwestern Zimbabwe
Treron calvus ansorgei W Angola (south of Cuanza River)
Treron calvus vylderi NW Namibia (east to Grootfontein)
Treron calvus delalandii/granti
Treron calvus granti Lowlands of e Tanzania and Zanzibar
Treron calvus delalandii coast from southeastern Tanzania south to South Africa (Eastern Cape Province)

none of the mention Zimbabwe or Northern South Africa, only Western Zim. Roberts 7 gives that subspecies as T. c. glauca, which isn’t on that list at all? Avibase lumps this with T. c. delalandii which is inconsistent with the Birdlife International distributions…

Long Story short, anyone know what the Southern African plateau African Green-pigeons should be logged as?

My suggestion would be to leave the observations at species-level, unless there is some visual feature that you can use to distinguish that subspecies from other options.

Identifying to subspecies just based on range is tautological and potentially adds misleading information if it obscures actual subspecies’ ranges that differ or are fuzzier than what is published.


In situations like this, It’s often worth checking the taxon history and for flags on iNat to get a sense of what changes have been made and what reasoning might be (I took a quick look and didn’t notice anything obvious in this case).

If there are cases where you think the taxonomy could be improved on iNat (taking into account iNat’s taxonomy providers), you could also put a flag on the taxon in question to ask a question or start a discussion. This often gets a response from a related curator who may have a good idea and can create a record of questions/answers that may be useful to other users.

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Constantly frustrated by this.

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