Wednesday 4 July 2012

Paper published in Brazil

List of Documented Bird Species from the Municipality of Ubatuba, state of São Paulo, Brazil Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia, Museu de Zoologia de Universidade de São Paulo Volume 52(21):233-254,2012  - Simpson, Cavarzere & Simpson

Over the years that I was living in Ubatuba in South-east Brazil I made careful notes of all the species that I observed on a nearly daily basis. There was frankly a lot of nonsense talked about the size of the Ubatuba list, with locals inflating the number to over 550, many of which were endemic to other regions and faunal zones of Brazil. They would often say that over 500 species can be seen in the municipality, which clearly is, at least, misleading if not downright dishonest.

Elis and me working on the list at the museum
So, Elis and I set about compiling a list based solely on records that could be reliably acredited, using photos (this was often difficult because one local was not above falsifying the details of his shots), sound recordings or skins in collections.

The total we came to was just over 400, which in itself is pretty amazing for a small corner of Brazil.

In addition there were some 40 species that had been reliably seen but did not fit into the criterior that we had set i.e. documented, even though we had seen them ourselves, so they could not be included in the main list.

This paper was published recently by the University of São Paulo Zoological Museum a place where we have spent many a happy hour scouring the collection and its library and chatting to the staff and students.

If you want to read the paper it can be found on the Publications page, just click on the download aftert he title.


  1. Birders visiting Ubatuba now have a definitive bird list to work with. Brilliant work Rick and Ellis!!

    1. That was the aim. However, already there are birds that have been added to the list, but as you say, for anyone visiting it will certainly give them a good start. Coupled with my annotated list that can be downloaded from this site, people should be able to work out exactly what they might see and where. Thanks for your comment, see you at the BBF.

  2. Great work, guys! I still remember my own Ubatuba trip last November (and meeting you two) very fondly. I am still in the process of organizing all my photo and sound recording data from 2011, and I've not yet gotten to the Brazil portion of my travels (but I will someday, ha!). This list and all its location data will be a big help when it comes time to submitting my recordings to xeno-canto and the Macaulay Library of Natural Sound.

    1. Hi Eric, good to hear from you, I am happy that the work will be of some use to people, makes the effort seem worthwhile. If we can be of any more help in any way, just let us know.