Zoology

New Type of Bird Found in Urban Region of Cambodia



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A new bird species has been found in Cambodia. Unlike other previously unknown species that are generally found in remote areas of the globe, this newly found bird was found right in the outskirts of the country's capital city, Phnom Penh.

Of all places, the bird was spotted at a construction site in the urban area, reported CNN.

Scientists had been conducting research on whether or not it was possible for avian influenza to be transmitted through small birds. But their analysis was presumably interrupted after they found something else that was remarkable.

According to The Guardian, the bird was "found hiding in plain sight". Initially, scientists believed the bird to be an "abundant species", but then, after they had studied their feathered friend through the photos a colleague had captured of the bird, they realized it was a distinct species.  

While previously unknown, the bird turned out to be a common one in Cambodia. And it is reportedly found only in Cambodia.

Ashish John was the photographer who captured the first pictures of the bird.

The bird is called the Cambodian tailorbird (Orthotomus chaktomuk). It is described as "wren-sized small gray bird with rufous cap and black throat."

"The modern discovery of an undescribed bird species within the limits of a large populous city — not to mention 30 minutes from my home — is extraordinary," said Simon Mahood, a Wildlife Conservation Society WCS scientist who described the species. "The discovery indicates that new species of birds may still be found in familiar and unexpected locations."

Mahood is listed as lead author of the study.

Mahood worked with researchers from WCS, BirdLife International, the University of Kansas, Louisiana State University and the Sam Veasna Centre. Their collaboration resulted in a report on the new species of bird.

The paper was recently published in the Oriental Bird Club's journal, Forktail.

Unfortunately, this species of bird is believed to be under threat. There are still populations of the Cambodian tailorbird. However, experts say its habitat is declining. Factors that could be contributors are illegal hunting and the high amount of land development that is taking place in Asia.

Scientists want the bird to be classified with a "Near Threatened" designation.

"Most newly discovered bird species in recent years have proved to be threatened with extinction or of conservation concern, highlighting the crisis facing the planet's biodiversity," said co-author Jonathan C. Eames of BirdLife International in a statement.

The New York Times reported researchers discover approximately six new bird species each year.

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ARTICLE SOURCES AND CITATIONS
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.cnn.com/2013/06/26/world/asia/cambodia-bird
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jun/26/cambodian-tailerbird-new-bird-species
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://wcs.org
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/27/world/asia/new-species-of-bird-is-found-in-an-unlikely-location-in-cambodia.html?_r=0