Bird believed extinct for 170 years spotted in Borneo

Credit score: BirdingASIA

A staff of researchers from Indonesia and Singapore has discovered proof of the continued existence of a hen lengthy thought extinct. Of their paper printed within the journal BirdingASIA, the staff describes the historical past of the hen, why it was regarded as extinct and the way it was present in Borneo.

Again someday between 1843 and 1848 a hen now referred to as the black-browed babbler was captured by naturalist Carl A.L.M. Schwaner. Information of the discover are sketchy, but it surely appeared the hen had been captured on the island of Java. That discovering was the one and solely piece of proof of the hen’s existence—it’s at present labeled as “knowledge poor” in ornithology texts. The hen was put into storage, and for the subsequent 170 years, there have been no additional reviews of its existence. Over time, the hen and its historical past turned referred to as “the most important enigma in Indonesian ornithology.” Most within the area assumed it had gone extinct. Then, final yr, a pair of researchers, Muhammad Rizky Fauzan and Muhammad Suranto captured a hen that they may not determine on the Indonesian a part of the island of Borneo. They took photos of it and despatched them to colleagues, then launched the hen.

Because the staff performed analysis on the hen within the photos, it quickly turned clear that its description matched that of the hen in storage within the Netherlands. A more in-depth look confirmed that it was certainly the identical species—a dwelling black-browed babbler.

The hen was caught in Kalimantan, close to the middle of the island of Borneo, and its discovery proves the hen was solely regarded as extinct as a result of folks have been searching for it within the unsuitable place. Its existence additionally raises the query of what number of of its species reside in Borneo, and whether or not it’s in danger.

The researchers would very very like to journey to the area the place the hen was discovered, however the pandemic has restricted journey to the island. They plan to conduct an tour as quickly as it’s possible. Within the meantime, they are going to be making updates to ornithology texts, not solely to delist the black-browed babbler as extinct, however to offer extra particulars about its bodily options.


Wintering hen communities monitor local weather change quicker than breeding communities in Europe and North America


Extra info:
Lacking for 170 years—the rediscovery of black-browed babbler Malacocincla perspicillata on Borneo. BirdingASIA, 34, 13-14.

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Hen believed extinct for 170 years noticed in Borneo (2021, February 26)
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