A Detailed Report on the Birds Collected on the Chevert Expedition to New Guinea, in 1875


  • Graham R Fulton Linnean Society of New South Wales


The birds collected on the Chevert Expedition in 1875 are reported and discussed on the basis of information published in the two seminal papers of George Masters, Edward Pierson Ramsay and unreported specimens found in the Macleay Museum. In addition, the private journals of Lawrence Hargrave and William Macleay, old newspaper articles and the literature emanating from the expedition were searched. The Chevert Expedition collected: at sea, on islands off the Queensland coast, on Torres Strait islands and New Guinea. A total of 877 individual birds, of 193 species are listed and discussed. This total number includes 84 specimens not previously reported plus 6 sight records of species that were not collected. The history of the imprudent and perfidious management of specimens held by the Macleay Museum, at The University of Sydney, is also reported. In particular, an account of the 36 type specimens, representing 10 species, is given. Most of the surviving types are currently held at The Australian Museum on permanent loan, 12 have been lost and misplaced with 4 of them found in this study. The birds obtained by the expedition from Kendall Broadbent, who was not an expedition member, are presented and discussed. A gazetteer is appended with place names, co-ordinates and the names of the Indigenous language groups where collecting took place. Indigenous communities generously assisted with the collection of birds on their lands.