As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

New bird species found in Ogasawara Islands

Monday, January 29, 21:40

Researchers say they have found a new seabird species indigenous to the Ogasawara Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage site some 1,000 kilometers south of Japan's main island.

The scientists, including those from the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, say the seabirds were previously considered a subspecies of Audubon's shearwater.

The shearwaters are widely distributed across the Pacific Ocean. They have black backs and a white underbody. They build nests in crevices in rocks.

The research team studied DNA samples from 10 of the seabirds in question and found that they are a separate species from Audubon's shearwater.

It says the seabirds are confirmed to breed exclusively on two of the Ogasawara Islands.

The finding brings the number of indigenous bird species that inhabit the islands to 4.

One of the researchers, Kazuto Kawakami, says the discovery adds to the value of the Ogasawara Islands as a world heritage site.

He says the birds should be protected because they are likely to be vulnerable to non-native predators.

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