1,068 Species Discovered in South East Asia!

1 April, 2009

The incredibly pink Dragon Millipede is able to shoot cyanide.


It’s one of over a thousand species found in the Greater Mekong in the past 10 years- that’s an average of 2 new species found per week for 10 years!

Find more info at WWF online!

Smithsonian scientists discover new bird species

15 August, 2008

Public release date: 15-Aug-2008
Contact: John Gibbons

Scientists at the Smithsonian Institution have discovered a new species of bird in Gabon, Africa, that was, until now, unknown to the scientific community. Their findings were published in the international science journal Zootaxa today, Aug. 15.

The newly found olive-backed forest robin (Stiphrornis pyrrholaemus) was named by the scientists for its distinctive olive back and rump. Adult birds measure 4.5 inches in length and average 18 grams in weight. Males exhibit a fiery orange throat and breast, yellow belly, olive back and black feathers on the head. Females are similar, but less vibrant. Both sexes have a distinctive white dot on their face in front of each eye.

PLEASE read the entire article at EurekAlert!

Parasite Turns Ant into Bird Bait

18 January, 2008
From an original article
posted at Physorg.com

“When the ant Cephalotes atratus is infected with a parasitic nematode, its normally black abdomen turns red, resembling the many red berries in the tropical forest canopy. According to researchers, this is a strategy concocted by nematodes to entice birds to eat the normally unpalatable ant and spread the parasite in their droppings. (Steve Yanoviak/University of Arkansas)

Read the full article at Physorg.com

New Flycatcher Bird Species Discovered in Peru

20 September, 2007
Excerpt from article
originally posted at
August 13, 2007


“Scientists have discovered a previously unknown species of bird in dense bamboo thickets in the Peruvian Amazon.

Writing in the journal The Auk, authors led by Daniel F. Lane of the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science describe the new species of twistwing (Cnipodectes superrufus).

The scientists say the brownish-red colored bird [...] remained unknown until the present due to its poorly known, and largely inaccessible habitat: thickets of thorny bamboo (Guadua weberbaueri) in southeastern Peru.

Relatively little is known about the species. It apparently eats small arthropods (mostly insects) and has a call similar to that of the Sulfur-bellied Tyrant-Manakin (Neopelma sulphureiventer).”

Read the full article at Mongabay.com

Daniel F. Lane, Grace P. Servat, Thomas Valqui H.A, and Frank R. Lambert (2007). A DISTINCTIVE NEW SPECIES OF TYRANT FLYCATCHER (PASSERIFORMES: TYRANNIDAE: CNIPODECTES) FROM SOUTHEASTERN PERU. THE AUK Volume 124, Issue 3 (July 2007)

What’ll They Do Next- Revive the Dodo? uh..no- really?

9 July, 2007
dodo.jpgFrom an article by
Kate Ravilious
National Geographic News
July 3, 2007

Adventurers exploring a cave on an island in the Indian Ocean have discovered the most complete and well-preserved dodo skeleton ever found, scientists reported yesterday.

Researchers say the find would likely yield the first useful samples of the extinct, flightless bird’s DNA.

Get all the details from the original article at National Geographic Online.

Hummingbird Species Discovered!

3 July, 2007

From original article
by Paul Eccleston
Last Updated: 11:01am BST 15/05/2007


Here is an exotic bird with an exotic name – Gorgeted Puffleg – Eriocnemis isabellae, a new species of hummingbird discovered almost by accident in Colombia.

Two ornithologists Alexander Cortés-Diago and Luis Alfonso Ortega came across the bird during a survey of montane cloud forest in the Serrania del Pinche, in the south-west of the country.

“We were essentially following a hunch,” said Alexander Cortés-Diago of The Hummingbird Conservancy (Colombia) and co-discoverer of Gorgeted Puffleg.

“We had heard that a new species of plant had been discovered in the region in 1994. This discovery and the isolation of the Serrania led us to believe there could also be new species of vertebrates.”

“Though we expected to find new species of amphibians and new ranges for birds, the discovery of a new hummingbird was completely unexpected.”

The bird has an enlarged, bicoloured iridescent throat patch (hence ‘Gorgeted’) in males and white tufts above the legs which are characteristic of ‘Puffleg’ hummingbirds.

The species has been heralded by BirdLife International as one of the most significant new discoveries of recent years.


“This is an important discovery for bird conservation and further evidence of how much more there is to learn about the world’s forests, and how much we stand to lose if they are allowed to be destroyed.” said Ian Davidson, Head of BirdLife International’s Americas Programme based in Ecuador.

“Gorgeted Puffleg is a flagship species for the biodiversity of Serrania del Pinche, which must be conserved,” he added.

But already there are fears that the newly-discovered bird may be endangered….”

Read the entire article at Telegraph.co.uk to find out what is threatening this beautiful ‘new’ species.

A second article at Mongabay.com

And a third article with yet more info at USAtoday.com

A few more interesting tidbits in the article at ABCNews.com

Smile For the Camera!

29 June, 2007


June 26, 2007
Original Article by Christine Dell’Amore
National Geographic News

“…The rare recurve-billed bushbird, recently rediscovered by scientists in Colombia after a 40-year absence, sports a curving beak that gives the illusion of an enigmatic smile.

This photograph, taken by a conservationist with the Colombia-based nonprofit Fundación ProAves, is the first ever taken of a live bushbird.

The elusive species had not been spotted between 1965 and 2004, due to its limited range and remote habitats. It was seen recently in Venezuela and in a region of northeastern Colombia, where it was photographed. …”
Read entire article at National Geographic.com

For more about the Recurve-billed Bushbird:

Several more photos at the American Bird Conservancy website.

A great article with more details at Wildlife Extra.

On the same expedition, researchers also got these great first-ever shots of the Perija (Todd’s) Parakeet, which is an “exceptionally rare” species:












Photos of the Perija Parakeet at the Am. Bird Conservancy website.


An article from ProAves about the two species and the expedition.

Beautiful New Bird Species Found!

10 October, 2006

brushfinch.jpgA brightly coloured bird has been discovered on a remote mountain range in South America. The Yariguies Brush Finch has striking black, yellow and red plumage, and represents a new avian species.

Atlapetes latinuchus yariguierum, differs from its closest relatives by having a black back and no white markings on its wings.

Read entire article at The Daily Mail.brushfinch1.jpg

Found! 40 New Species in Virgin Brazil Rainforest

30 September, 2006


Excerpts from
by Lewis Smith,
Times Environment Reporter

“Up to 40 new species of plants and animals, including a bird and a tree rat, have been discovered in an expedition to one of the world’s last unspoilt wildernesses.

newfrog_5f200px.jpg Researchers were particularly excited by the bird and the tree rat because new mammal and avian species are extremely rare. The discoveries have yet to be verified by peer review but Enrico Bernard, of Conservation International, is confident that 27 new species have been identified and that several more are contained among the thousands of specimens brought back for analysis.

lagarto_5f200px.jpg Besides the rat and the bird, the new species found include seven fish, eight frogs, lizards and snakes, two
shrimps and eight plants.
One species of lizard, [Amapasaurus tetradactylus], was rediscovered having been seen only twice before, both times in 1970. The lizard is unusual in having four fingers on its claws, whereas it closest relative has three.

“We have confirmed more than 1,700 species, of which more than 100 have been recorded for Amapá for the first time. Perhaps 40 of those are entirely new to science.

Among the creatures already known that were found in the region for the first time were 40 types of bat. Dr Enrico thought this if anything an underestimate. “There are potentially more than 100,” he added.The tree rat, from the genus makalata and the size of a large guinea-pig, lives with monkeys in the trees of the Amazonian tropical forest, where it eats only leaves and fruit.

The authorities in Brazil this week announced that 5.7 million hectares of the region is to be protected as the Amapá State Forest.”

Read the Full Aritcle at Times Online.

Thanks to Nutmeg for the scoop.

“Mysterious Bird of Paradise: Lost and Found”

21 September, 2006

excerpts from article
written by Jennifer Shatwell,
Conservation International
Staff Writer


With an international team of 11 scientists, the majority from the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI), Beehler conducted the first thorough survey of biological diversity in the Foja Mountains – the largest nearly pristine tropical forest in Asia. There they uncovered a trove of new and “missing” species, among them the mysterious and legendary Berlepsch’s Six-wired Bird of Paradise (Parotia berlepschi). On their second day in the forest, the team became the first outside scientists to observe a male bird of paradise, finally putting to rest the mystery of the origin of this species.

The Berlepsch’s Six-wired Bird of Paradise was first describedbirdofparadise_5f200px.jpg in 1897 by the German ornithologist Otto Kleinschmidt from wildlife skins in the private museum of Hans von Berlepsch. The striking black bird with metallic plumage along its throat and white flank plumes was named for the curious wires that extend from its head in place of a crest. It appeared to originate in northern New Guinea, but a precise location of the bird’s habitat was unknown. In this respect, it was similar to the Golden-fronted Bowerbird (Amblyornis flavifrons) – also described in the 1890s from an unknown location in New Guinea.

At least a dozen attempts were made to find the two mysterious birds over the next 80 years…

Then in the late 1970s, scientists turned their attention to the Foja Mountains.

“The Fojas were a promised land to biologists in search of the unknown, …It was a wild land given over to wildlife.”

“Yet we’ve just scratched the surface,” says Beehler, who is already planning a follow-up trip to the range in late 2006.

Note: This is a heavily cut version of an excellent article at the Conservation International website. There was quite a bit of interesting information which I edited out simply to keep it short. I strongly recommend reading the original.
There are also previous entries about new species from the Foja Mountains in this blog.

Rare New Bird Species Found in India!

18 September, 2006

September 12, 2006

by James Owen

For National Geographic News

Photo: National Geographic


An amateur bird-watcher has found the first new bird species to be discovered in India in over 50 years.

The strikingly colored species was identified from feathers and photos taken in remote forests in the northeast part of the country.

No specimen was taken, because “we thought the bird was just too rare for one to be killed,” said Ramana Athreya, the bird’s discoverer, in a statement.

Named Bugun liocichla, the small bird is described as a type of babbler, a diverse family of birds that usually live in tropical forests.

Read the entire article at National Geographic.com

Carnivorous Kangaroo and “Demon Duck of Doom” Found in Australia!

12 July, 2006

Palaeontologists digging in northern Australia have found fossil evidence of several new species – including a “killer kangaroo”.

The flesh-eating marsupial would have lived between 10 and 20 million years ago, scientists say.

The research team has also unearthed evidence of a large carnivorous bird dubbed the “demon duck of doom”.

The dig site in Queensland has yielded remains of at least 20 previously unknown creatures.

Find the full article at BBC news…

New Parrot and Mouse Species Discovered in Philippines…

7 July, 2006

The two new species were discovered as the result of recent and earlier field studies.

The parrot is a Hanging-parrot, or Colasisi, with bright green feathers covering most of the body. The throat and thighs are bright blue, and the top of the head and tail are brilliant scarlet-orange. Males and females have identical plumage, which is quite unusual in this group of parrots.

The description is based on previously unstudied specimens in The Field Museum and the Delaware Museum of Natural History collected in the 1960’s by D. S. Rabor. The name for the new species is Loriculus camiguinensis, or Camiguin Hanging-parrot.

The new mammal is a Philippine forest mouse, now identified as Apomys camiguinensis. It has large ears and eyes, a long tail and rusty-brown fur, and it feeds mostly on insects and seeds.

The description is based on mice captured on Camiguin during a biological survey Heaney and Tabaranza conducted in 1994 and 1995, high on the steep slopes of one of the island’s volcanoes.

Local people had not previously known of the mouse, though they have known of the parrot because of its value in the pet trade.

Full article here… (has very interesting info about the conservation situation and endemic species in the Philippines!)

New Species – Darwin’s Finches Reinacted?

6 July, 2006

A Wangi Wangi white eye (nearest) is held up for comparison next to a lemon bellied white eye (Zosterops chloris)

January 26, 2004

“It’s almost certainly a new species, or the first ever subspecies of the pale-bellied white eye,” she said. “While it could also be a feral escape population from elsewhere, we don’t think this is the case as we’ve found no other bird that matches its description.”

“The Wangi Wangi white eye is almost half as big again,” Marples explained. “The beak is big and yellow rather than small and black, while it has grey on the breast instead of being entirely white. It also has very pale feet which is most unusual.”

Full article…

Brazil Yields Several New Species, and Surprises!

6 July, 2006

Scientists on a WWF expedition discovered two new frog, fish and bird species, one tree species and one primate.

“These are exciting discoveries,” said Claudio Maretti, WWF-Brazil’s Coordinator for Protected Areas.

“But to confirm that the species are really new to science we have to carry out a series of tests,” he cautioned. “This will be done as soon as the expedition comes to a close.”

In addition to these potentially new scientific discoveries, experts on the expedition came across 200 species of birds, ocelots (wild cats), and a pink dolphin.

Original full length article here…

Read expedition logs and other articles from the expedition at the WWF homepage for the Juruena National Park.

“Lost World” of New Species Found in Indonesia

5 July, 2006

the rarest arboreal, jungle-dwelling kangaroo in the world

“During a 15-day stay at a camp they had cut out of the jungle, the conservationists found a trove of animals never before documented…

The golden-mantled tree kangaroo (pictured above) is just one of dozens of species discovered in late 2005 by a team of Indonesian, Australian, and U.S. scientists on the island of New Guinea.

The animal is the rarest arboreal, jungle-dwelling kangaroo in the world, the researchers say.

.. Within minutes of landing, the scientists encountered a bizarre, orange-faced honeyeater bird. It proved to be a new bird species, the first discovered in New Guinea since 1939.

…A botanical team collected more than 550 plant species, including at least five previously unknown woody plant species. Entomologists encountered more than 150 insect species, including four new ones.

…Reptile experts documented 60 different kinds of frogs, including more than 20 new species. Including a tiny frog less than 14 millimeters (0.6 inch) long.”

Find the full National Geographic article with lots more info- and photos of some of the newly discovered animals here.

New Species Surveyed in Tanzanian Mountains

28 June, 2006

WWF | Newsroom

First Field Surveys of Tanzanian Mountains Reveal over 160 Animal Species, including New and Endemic Species
For Release: 06/22/2006
WASHINGTON — The first field surveys of the Rubeho Mountains in Tanzania revealed over 160 animal species — including a new species of frog and eleven endemic species — according to an article published in the African Journal of Ecology this month. The findings elevate the importance of protecting this biologically-rich wilderness area and the broader Eastern Arc Mountain range from destructive activities underway such as clear-cutting for agriculture, logging and poaching.



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