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Reply from Tring Zoological Museum about bird species

Full transcription

[headed note paper]
  HERTS., ENGLAND.     1.1.1910.

Dear Dr. Wallace,
I was glad to see again your dear and distinct handwriting, which always is a pleasure to me to see. I am sorry to hear you had a bad eye inflammation last summer, but glad to hear that it is better now. I had looked forward to a visit from you in the summer, but I have been overwhelmed with work and domestic trouble. I was in Algeria (with Mr. Rothschild) for nearly 4 months and we camped out in the Sahara and made a fine collection of birds and Lepidoptera. After my return (in June) my wife became ill and had to undergo a very serious operation from which she is not yet quite satisfactory recovered. Besides I had a great lot of work, both scientific and with the museum. Otherwise I should have remin- ded you of your idea to pay a visit to Tring, which I hope you will do this year.

1.) Since I gave you the number of Papuan Birds 10 years ago, as 900, very little has been added, I should say that not more than 3 dozen new species, and about another dozen of kinds new to the group - migrants, etc. This excludes the Islands East of New Guinea.

2.) The number of Australian Birds, i.e. Australia with Tasmania and the islands near the coast but not including, of course, New Zealand, is at present 883. This is the number (including all the subspecies or local forms, as in Sharpe's Hand List) given is the careful Hand List of the Birds of Australia by G.M. Matthews, which appeared in 1908. Since then only 3 or 4 have been added, but I know of two or three of the admitted forms which are doubtful, so then that 885 or 883 is the total.

3). The numbers of birds (subspecies included as above) of the Philippines, according to the Head of the Birds at the Phi- lippine Islands by McGregor and Worcester 1906 is 692. Since 1906 not more than about half a dozen have been added. So you can say 700, unless you stick to the exact number of 1906. 
[headed note paper]

You have doubtless heard of Dr. Sharpe's death. He, unfortunately, developed diabetes, and an attack of pneumonia finished his career. It is a great loss. Sharpe certainly knew more birds than any other living ornithologist. He was my oldest friend in England and we have always been good friends, though I frequently opposed his methods of genus - splitting and his not distinguishing between species and geographical forms (subspecies). Sclater, on the other hand keeps wonderfully well, although he was 80 the other day.
   With the best and sincerest wishes for the
New Year believe me
                                  Yours very truly
[signed]                        Ernst Hartert.

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