by Shreya Dasgupta on 27 July 2017
The Táchira antpitta (Grallaria chthonia) was first recorded during an expedition in the mid-1950s.
In June last year, scientists decided to look for the bird again.
During the expedition, the team obtained the first ever photographs and sound recordings of a living Táchira antpitta.
In a remote forest in western Venezuela, scientists have rediscovered a bird that was last seen more than 60 years ago.
The plump, brown Táchira antpitta (Grallaria chthonia) was first recorded during an expedition in the mid-1950s, during which ornithologists collected four specimens of the bird.
Subsequent searches failed to locate the Táchira antpitta. Moreover, the ongoing forest loss in the area where the antpitta was first found convinced scientists that the elusive bird was most likely extremely rare. Consequently, the bird was listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List.
In June last year, a team of international scientists of the Red Siskin Initiative (RSI) — a partnership between the Smithsonian Institution and various scientific organizations in Venezuela — decided to look for the Táchira antpitta once again. The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) helped fund the 2016 expedition as part of its ongoing Search for Lost Birds.