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 Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>