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Discovering new species is always exciting but researchers in Indonesia have made a species discovery that’s setting records. As NatGeo reported,
In the past two decades, an average of fewer than six new bird species have been described every year in the entire world. But 2020 will be different, as scientists have just announced 10 previously undescribed species and subspecies from three Indonesian islands east of Sulawesi.
Meet The Newbies: After trekking through jungles and rainstorms, researchers from the National University of Singapore have confirmed the discovery of the following species:
Two of the newfound animals are leaf warblers that belong to a group of small, insect-eating songbirds that live across the Old World.
Others include the Taliabu myzomela, a type of honeyeater that feeds on a wide array of nectar and fruit, and the Peleng fantail, a bird that does its name justice by fanning its tail feathers when it is upset or alarmed.
Alluring Songs: During their expedition, researchers primarily listened to the songs of the birds, comparing them to known species on other Indonesian islands. The team then collected specimens of the birds, and back in the lab, carefully described their appearance and anatomy. The birds’ DNA and recorded songs were also analyzed to confirm the animals were different enough from any known species to be named a new species or a subspecies.
Why This Matters: There are still countless species that we haven’t yet discovered and because of climate change time may be running out. It’s the hope of the researchers that discovered these birds that the government of Indonesia will grant them protected status so they can better adapt to human threats.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which is the global authority when it comes to whether a species is at risk of extinction, yesterday added the North Atlantic Right Whale of the eastern U.S. to its list of Critically Endangered species (elevated from Endangered) that are on the brink of extinction. The IUCN also “upgraded” 13 different species of lemurs to the Critically Endangered list along with 20 other lemur species at risk of imminent extinction.
Why This Matters: These species are on the verge of going extinct not because of anything they did, but rather because of us humans.
We just love a tsunami with a happy ending! The Georgia Sea Turtle Center on St. Simons Island had been rehabilitating Tsunami, an endangered green sea turtle that was hit by a boat in 2017, for years with the hope of setting her free in the ocean. But her injuries were too severe to survive […]
By Will Gartshore, Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It’s an old aphorism that still rings painfully true today. Long before Covid-19, the three deadliest pandemics in human history—the bubonic plague, Spanish influenza and HIV/AIDS—claimed more lives than all the […]
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