Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

’Extinct’ bird rediscovered in Mexico

09.07.2004


Scientists thrilled by first confirmed sighting in almost a decade

The Cozumel Thrasher (Toxostoma guttatum), a bird not seen or recorded by scientists for close to a decade and thought by some to have gone extinct, was sighted last month by a team of field biologists, American Bird Conservancy and Conservation International announced today. Its rediscovery immediately makes it the single most threatened bird in Mexico.

The Cozumel Thrasher, an endemic bird found only on the island of Cozumel off the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, appears to have experienced a precipitous decline in 1988 after Hurricane Gilbert tore through the island. It immediately became rare, but small numbers of the bird were known to exist until it was last sighted in 1995. That same year, Hurricane Roxanne ripped through Cozumel and may have also contributed to the species’ decline. Scientists estimate that as many as 10,000 once thrived on the island.



Previous recent expeditions to find the Cozumel Thrasher proved futile. Last month, a team of field biologists working in conjunction with Villanova University and the Mexican counterpart of the Island Endemics Institute, spotted a single individual, confirming that the species was not yet extinct. The field biologists were on a rediscovery mission sponsored by American Bird Conservancy and Conservation International.

"This is terrific news for the species," said Dr. George Wallace, vice president for International Programs at American Bird Conservancy. "It opens a door to a range of possibilities that we hope will lead to the establishment of a protected area if more birds are found."

The Cozumel Thrasher is a medium-sized (23 cm. long) bird, similar to a mockingbird. It is brown and white with a long, curved bill. Its upper parts are a rich chestnut-brown with two white wing-bars. It has a gray face, black bill and legs, and white underparts heavily streaked black. Its song is described as a complex scratchy warbling.

"The rediscovery of the Cozumel Thrasher is a reminder of two key things: the importance of tropical islands for biodiversity conservation, and the importance of never giving up on a species - no matter how rare," said Dr. Russell Mittermeier, president of Conservation International.

Although the hurricanes are believed to have had a major negative impact on the birds, scientists believe that other factors must have contributed to the decline, because the Cozumel Thrasher likely survived hurricanes for millennia. Introduced species, especially predatory boa constrictors introduced to the island in 1971 and now abundant, may also have had a disastrous effect.

Fortunately, large tracts of deciduous and semi-deciduous forest, thought to be the species’ preferred habitat, still remain, and the birds are not hunted or trapped for the pet trade. Formal protection and management of Cozumel’s habitat could benefit other species on the island, including two other endemic bird species, fifteen endemic bird subspecies, and at least three endemic and threatened mammal species.

The team will next try to determine the size and range of the population represented by this single bird, and then return next January, when the birds are known to sing more frequently, to attempt further surveys. To protect this and potentially other birds from disturbance, the exact location of the discovery is not being disclosed to the public.

Brad Phillips | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.conservation.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

nachricht Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Nano-Roundabout for Light

09.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Further Improvement of Qubit Lifetime for Quantum Computers

09.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

New weapon against Diabetes

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>