No announcement yet.

Laos - Another new [bird] species found in Laos

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Laos - Another new [bird] species found in Laos

    Another new [bird] species found in Laos

    Bald-Faced Bird discovered

    The remote areas of Laos continue to amaze the world's scientists with new discoveries and reinforces the importance of this region as a biodiversity hotspot.

    This time scientists have discovered a new species of bald songbird in mainland Asia .

    The unusual songbird which lacks feathers on its face was found in sparse forest on rugged limestone formations. The birds were discovered in the same area of Khammuan province in 1995 and 2008.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	bare-faced-bulbul.gif
Views:	1
Size:	73.9 KB
ID:	664410

    A specimen was sent to Australian experts at Melbourne University to do a formal identification and description and is described in the July issue of the Oriental Bird Club journal, Forktail.

    International media has shown great interest in the discovery of the bird with reports on the BBC and in the New York Times.

    According to a press release from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the bird has been described by scientists as part of a project funded and managed by the mining company Minerals and Metals Group (MMG) that operates the Sepon copper and gold project in the region.

    Named the ?Bare-faced Bulbul? because of the lack of feathers on its face and part of its head, it is the only example of a bald songbird in mainland Asia , according to scientists. It is the first new species of bulbul described in Asia in over 100 years.

    ?We are very excited about this new discovery,? said Mr Bouaphanh Phanthavong, Director of the Department of Forestry Resource Conservation. ?It is another example of why we need to continue working to protect Laos ' biodiversity.?

    He also said that the department would like industry to continue to help conserve these important species and to help the department raise awareness of biodiversity conservation with local people.

    ?It's always exciting to discover a new species, but this one is especially unique because it is the only bald songbird in Asia,? said Colin Poole, director of Asia programmes for the WCS.

    ?The discovery also underscores how much there is still to learn from wild places around the world.?

    The thrush-sized bird is greenish-olive with a light-colored breast, a distinctive featherless, pink face with bluish skin around the eye extending to the bill and a narrow line of hair-like feathers down the centre of the crown.

    The bird was first seen in 1995 on a Department of Forestry and WCS survey in the Phou Hin Phoun National Protected Area but it was not caught then.

    The bird was netted in December 2008 as part of a joint Government / National University of Laos and WCS survey team.

    ?MMG are very happy to have sponsored this important discovery which occurred as part of its ongoing support to areas of regional or national biodiversity importance,? said Richard Taylor Group Manager Corporate Affairs for Asia .

    The bird seems to be primarily tree-dwelling and was found in an area of sparse forest on rugged limestone karsts, a little visited habitat known for unusual wildlife discoveries.

    Fortunately much of the bird's presumed habitat falls within legally protected areas in Laos . This bald song bird will no doubt be a destination for bird watchers from around the world, WCS said.

    The researchers explained that future research was needed, not only for the bare-faced bulbul, but for all the limestone areas in South East Asia , as many new plant and animal species remain to be discovered.

    In 2002, in this same area, the Department of Forest and WCS scientists described the kha-nyou, a newly discovered species of rodent so unusual it represented the lone surviving species of an otherwise extinct genus.

    Three years earlier the department and WCS described a unique striped rabbit in the region also new to science. The full paper describing the Bald-faced Bulbul: An unusual new bulbul (Passeriformes: Pycnonotidae) from the Limestone Karst of Laos by I. A. Woxvold, J. W. Duckworth and R. J. Timmins is available upon request from the WCS website.

    By Phonesavanh Sangsomboun and WCS
    (Latest Update August 5 , 2009)

  • #2
    Re: Laos - Another new [bird] species found in Laos

    The striped rabbit.
    "The only security we have is our ability to adapt."


    • #3
      Re: Laos - Another new [bird] species found in Laos

      The unusual and very rare rodent! It has the nicest rat tail I have ever seen!
      "The only security we have is our ability to adapt."