New Bulbul Species Discovered

November 24, 2010 by  
Filed under News

We often assume that we know all there is to know about our world. Even though there are behavioral patterns and various other mysteries surrounding some of the animal and bird species on our planet, we tend to assume that mankind has discovered just about every creature and insect that shares our world. When the news broke that a new bird species had been discovered, it made headlines, as it is not every day that a species appears that no-one was aware of.

The Minerals and Metals Group that operates in the Loas region of Asia, funds a project that employs conservationists and scientist such as Iain Woxvold (University of Melbourne), Rob Timmins and Will Duckworth, who are part of the Wildlife Conservation Society. While working in this region, these three men discovered the new bird species, which has now been named the Bare-faced Bulbul (Pycnonotus hualon).

This unusual little bird is not only unique in its features, but is also a songbird, and due to its ability to adapt to unihabitable areas, it is no surprise that it has been able to remain undiscovered for so long. It is also the first time in approximately a hundred years that a new bird species has been identified in Asia, making this a memorable moment for the scientists, the conservation organisations of Asia and for the region as a whole. The new species was found in the desolate karst limestone landscapes, which are located in the lowlands of the area and consist of sparse trees and not much else. The bare-faced bulbul is the size of a thrush, which is approximately twenty centimeters, and has beautiful olive green plumage that covers its back. It has off-white feathers over its chest and has large dark eyes set in its bald head that is pinkish in color.

Iain Woxvold explained the reasoning behind the new species remaining undiscovered for so long by saying: “Its apparent restriction to rather inhospitable habitat helps to explain why such an extraordinary bird with conspicuous habits and a distinctive call has remained unnoticed for so long.” Asia Programs, part of the New York Wildlife Conservation Society, assistant director Peter Clyne expressed his excitement in regard to the discovery, acknowledging that finding new bird species is an extremely rare event, and due to new species not being found every year, the unveiling of the bald-faced bulbul is most certainly a newsworthy discovery.

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