15 new species of birds discovered in Brazil
New crow and spectacular tree creeper amongst new discoveries
Spectacular new tree-creeper discovered in Brazil. Photo credit ZIG KOCH
June 2013. Since the second half of the nineteenth century Brazilian ornithology has not made a significant contribution to enlarging the knowledge of Brazilian biodiversity, but that is about to change in a major way.
15 new species!
15 new species of birds from the Brazilian Amazon will be formally described for the first time in a number of scientific articles published in July, and will also appear in a special volume of the Handbook of the birds of the world.
The authors of the descriptions belong to three national research institutions-the Museum of Zoology of the University of São Paulo (MZ-USP), Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (Inpa), Manaus, and Emí-lio Goeldi Paraense Museum (MPEG), Belém - and to the Museum of Natural Science at the State University of the Louisiania (LSUMNS), United States.
New species of crow which is already endangered: The crow is only found on the edge of natural meadows in southern Amazonas. Photo credit LUCIANO MOREIRA LIMA.
Not since 1871, when Austrian August von Pelzeln described 40 new species, have so many new birds from Brazil been described simultaneously.
Eleven of the new species are endemic of Brazil and four can be found also in Peru and Bolivia. Eight occur only west of the Madeira River, in the western part of the Amazon; five inhabit exclusively the region between the Madeira and the Tapajós Rivers, in the Centre of the northern region; and two are found just to the east of the Tapajós, Pará, in the easternmost portion of the tropical forest.
In the special volume of the Handbook, the authors describe the morphology, genetics and the vocalizations of the new species, and also there are specific maps for each species.
New species of crow
The largest and most spectacular of the new species is a crow, of the genus Cyanocorax, which measures about 35 cm long, which is only found amidst the natural forest between the rivers Madeira and Purus, in Amazonas State. "This Crow is endangered" says Mario Cohn-Haft, curator of the Ornithology section of INPA, principal discoverer of "cancão--da-campina" (Song of the-fields), the popular name coined for the bird.
The habitat of the newly discovered crow is in danger and it is possible that it will disappear before anyone has had time to study it in depth.
|With the name of this puffbird, we are |
pleased to recognize the positive
influence of President Obama on the
world stage and, in particular, we
support his staunch initiative to bring
development of solar energy to the
forefront at a time when this obviously
ideal global energy solution is,
incredibly, still an uphill battle. The
mainstream use of solar power
around the world will benefit all, certainly
including the flora, fauna, and people of
Amazonia, mainly by allowing the natural
atmosphere of the earth to persist.
Illustration by Hilary Burn.
Most of the new species (12 of 15) described in this volume continue the tradition of honoring people whom the authors have chosen for reasons provided in the etymology section of each description. Individuals from various walks are represented, among them Francisco "Chico" Mendes (Brazilian conservationist-activist murdered in 1988); Cândido Mariano da Silva Rondon (leader of the famous Roosevelt-Rondon survey of "the River of Doubt" in 1914); Jurgen Haffer (founder of the "Pleistocene refuge theory" of avian speciation in the Neotropics); Sir David Attenborough (world-renowned natural history film-maker), and Barack Obama* (44th President of the United States).
With the exception of one bird of the Piciformes family (toucans and woodpeckers), the other new Amazonian species are all passerines (Songbirds), including five species the Thamnophilidae family (which includes Anteaters), four in the dendrocolaptinae, three large tyrant flycatchers and one of Gnatcatcher.
To read more information, (in portugese), go to the Pesquisa website.
Published by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), the Pesquisa FAPESP magazine was launched in October 1999 for the primary purpose of disseminating and promoting the results of Brazilian scientific and technological output, of which FAPESP is one of the most important research sponsoring agencies.