Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New owl species discovered in Brazil

16.06.2003


Critically endangered bird to be named after Gordon Moore



A newly described and critically endangered pygmy-owl species discovered in Brazil was named today after Intel founder Gordon Moore and his wife Betty Moore, announced Conservation International. The description of the bird appears in the most recent edition of the "Brazilian Journal of Ornithology."

The tiny owl, measuring 6 inches from bill to tail and weighing a mere 2 ounces, was found in fragmented secondary forest in Pernambuco state in northeastern Brazil. It will be known as Glaucidium mooreorum, or by its common name, the Pernambuco pygmy-owl.


The three scientists responsible for the study named the owl after the Moores for their contributions to biodiversity conservation. In 2001, the Moore Foundation made one of the largest gifts in environmental history by giving Conservation International $261 million in a series of grants over 10 years to implement a major global strategy for biodiversity conservation.

The owl was first recorded in 1990 by Galileu Coelho, a professor at the Federal University of Pernambuco, who did not realize at the time that this was a distinct species. It was only in 2000 when José Maria Cardoso da Silva of Conservation International - Brazil came across the stored specimen in a bird collection and compared it with similar species, that he concluded it was indeed new to science. After analyzing the bird’s song against those of other species, Luiz Pedreira Gonzaga of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro supported Cardoso da Silva’s hypothesis.

"Birds are generally considered to be quite well-studied and only about three new bird species are described per year, so this is a special find," said Gustavo Fonseca, CI’s Executive Vice President for Programs and Science.

He also warned that "despite being so new to science, enough evidence exists to rank the pygmy-owl as critically endangered according to the World Conservation (IUCN) Red List guidelines."

In addition, the Atlantic Forest biodiversity hotspot in which the bird occurs is one of the most threatened in the world. Considered one of the "hottest of the hotspots," this region has some of the most unique biodiversity in the world and is also at high risk of losing it unless immediate conservation action is taken. Less than 10 percent of the Atlantic Forests’ original vegetation remains. In an area 50 times smaller than the Brazilian Amazon, it holds an incredible 20,000 plant species, 40 percent of which are found no where else. Combined, the 25 global biodiversity hotspots contain 60 percent of terrestrial plant and animal species in only 1.4 percent of the planet’s land area.

The new species has been seen in only two locations in Pernambuco making it even more critical that its habitat be protected. Researchers warn its range is limited, its habitat severely fragmented and in a state of continuing decline due to unchecked human activities in the region.

The area in which the pygmy-owl lives harbors half of the 850 bird species that exist in the Atlantic Forest, with 17 globally threatened species and one extinct in the wild, the Mitu mitu. The region has one of the highest numbers of threatened species in all of South America.

"Urgent conservation action is needed if we are to save the pygmy-owl and the other species in this forest," said Marcelo Tabarelli, director of The Environmental Research Center of the Northeast Brazil (CEPAN). "Until now, protected areas have been too small and fragmented for effective forest maintenance and regeneration. A minimum level of landscape connectivity is necessary to promote key ecological processes," he said.

Conservationists have recommended a regional strategy that includes forest restoration and the establishment of ecological corridors to connect remaining forest fragments.

Of 15,277 square miles/39,567 km2 of original forest of the Pernambuco Center, only 736 square miles/1,907 km2 (5 percent) are left. The remaining forest is fragmented in more than 1,400 parcels most of which are less than 100 hectares (247 acres) and are surrounded by agricultural and urban development.

"Pernambuco Center is the most critical bio-geographical region in all of the Atlantic Forest," said Luiz Paulo Pinto, Conservation International’s Director for the Atlantic Forest. "The implementation of a biodiversity corridor in this area will require immediate action at different levels, using scientific information and building alliances with several sectors of society."

The new owl species is closely related to the Amazonian pygmy-owl (Glaucidium hardyi) and the least pygmy-owl (Glaucidium minutissimum) from southeastern Brazil, but differs by the coloration of its plumage, its shape and its vocalization. The crown of Glaucidium mooreorum is dark brown with white spots; the back is dark reddish brown; the tail is dark brown with five horizontal white bands that appear as irregular white spots; the abdomen is white with light reddish brown streaks.


Conservation International (CI) is an environmental organization working in more than 30 countries around the globe to protect biodiversity and to demonstrate that human societies can live harmoniously with nature. CI develops scientific, policy and economic solutions to protect threatened natural ecosystems that are rich in biodiversity. Read more about CI at www.conservation.org.

Pamela Moyer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.conservation.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Bioinvasion on the rise
15.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise
10.02.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>