The Ornithology of the Baudin expedition (1800-1804)
The expedition commanded by Nicolas Baudin to Tenerife, Mauritius, Australia, Timor and South Africa in 1800-1804 is fully researched in regard to ornithology.
- Jansen, J.J.F.J.
- 22 May 2018
- Thesis in Leiden Repository
The expedition commanded by Nicolas Baudin to Tenerife, Mauritius, Australia, Timor and South Africa in 1800-1804 is fully researched in regard to ornithology. The expedition was government-funded and scientific equipped and had as one of the core activities collecting natural history items. Despite the lack of any diaries or lists documenting the collected birds, no less then 56 % of the 1.055 bird-specimens collected could be identified on species level. Of those which survived, 389 specimens (36,8 %) still exist in European Museums. Not only in Paris but also in 25 other museum collections worldwide as in 23 private collections specimens ended up. These 389 specimens represent the largest intact collections in time from Australia, Mauritius and Timor. For Australia and Timor only to be surpassed (nearly) three decades later. The Baudin expedition became the most successful expedition in regard to ornithology executed up to 1804. Further the research showed the importance of the 1796-98 voyage into the Caribbean, the role of donors, taxidermy in those years and the importance of notes still present in archives in Europe. With the right data now in place, many gaps in knowledge can be filled (type localities, systematics, reconstruction of long-gone landscapes, etc.).