Aug 02 2014

Does the Java Blue-banded Kingfisher (Alcedo Euryzona) really exist?

Female A. peninsulae and Male A. euryzona

Java Blue-banded Kingfisher (Alcedo Euryzona) is a “new” species split of from nominate status to full species status in 2013. This Java endemic kingfisher is firmly bound to rivers in lowland forest which is lost in an alarming rate throughout its range. There is only one sighting known, in 2009, since the thirties, the population …

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Aug 19 2014

Rarest birds of the World: Ridgway’s Hawk (Buteo ridgwayi)

This species is considered Critically Endangered because it has an extremely small and fragmented population, which continues to decline. Only effective protection of Los Haitises National Park and captive breeding and release are likely to save this species from extinction. 36-41 cm. Medium-sized, compact hawk. Above brownish grey, tail dark brown, with 3 faint imperfect …

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Aug 16 2014

The Slender-billed Curlew, last seen in the previous century

In 1875 Bree wrote: “In all parts of Italy this species is met with; but while it is only a bird of passage and rather rare in the northern parts, in the central and southern parts it is common, and passes the winter there. In Sicily and in Malta it is the most common species …

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Aug 15 2014

Ivory-billed Woodpecker, the vanished Log-God

Several cases of this species existence in Arkansas and Florida (USA) have been made since 2004, but the evidence is never unchallenged. Extensive surveys have been made in south-eastern Cuba, but the last record remains of 1987. The number of individuals is now very likely tiny. This 50 cm huge black-and-white woodpecker is overall black …

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Aug 11 2014

Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Calidris pygmaea)

It is incredible what activity this little bird has rendered since, about 8 years ago, for still not fully understood reasons, its popluation had declined to less than a 1000 individuals. In present day it is estimated at only 250 individuals and the population is aging. The crucial countries all working together, the action plans, …

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Aug 11 2014

Rarest birds of the World: Razo Lark (Alauda razae)

The Raso Lark is only found in small numbers on one very small island. This species numbers change with the rainfall, more rain in a year means more fledgelings. An increase in drought on Cape Verde, will add to the likelihood of extinction. Being a ground-nester, the species is at high risk when none native …

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Aug 09 2014

Atlapetes blancae, 8 years later, still not found. Wish or Species?

This newly described species is listed as Critically Endangered because there are no known populations and the last record is from 1971; consequently if it does remain extant it is assumed that any population must be tiny. The species was collected on the Llano de Ovejas, a small plateau at 2,400-2,800 m. This species has …

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Aug 09 2014

Rarest birds in the World: Masfuerta Rayadito (Aphrastura masafuerae)

This species has an extremely small range confined to mixed tree-fern forest on one small island, where recent surveys have shown it to have an extremely small population. In 1859 Sclater, the famous zoologist wrote in the Ibis, the magazine of the British Ornithologists’ Union: “Oxyurus masafuerae seems to be restricted to the island of …

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Aug 09 2014

Rarest birds in the World: Pohnpei Mountain Starling (Aplonis pelzelni)

This species has only been recorded with certainty once in the last 50 years (in 1995), and it has declined drastically since 1930, possibly through habitat loss, hunting and predation by introduced rats. However, it may remain extant since there have also been a number of unconfirmed reports, and further intensive surveys are required. Any …

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Aug 06 2014

The White-breasted Thrasher or a golf course

The White-breasted Thrasher (Ramphocinclus brachyurus) is endemic to the coastal dry forests of St. Lucia, and is currently restricted in its range to two areas along the eastern coast. Recent population estimates from researchers working on this species put the global population around 1,500 birds. Based on recent surveys, it is believed nearly three-fourths of …

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Aug 06 2014

The Yellow-billed Cotinga Sanctuary in Costa Rica

American Bird Conservancy and Osa Conservation have recently secured a key 11.8 ha (29.1 acres) property on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula for the IUCN Endanged Yellow-billed Cotinga. The property, now known as the Yellow-billed Cotinga Sanctuary is located near the town of Rincon on the eastern side of the Peninsula, and on the western shores …

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