Five species and five subspecies found in Indonesia in the largest discovery of its kind in more than a century
Thu 9 Jan 2020 19.00 GMT Last modified on Thu 9 Jan 2020 19.25 GMT
Ten new songbird species and subspecies have been identified on a trio of previously under-explored Indonesian islands in the largest discovery of its kind in more than a century, according to a new study.
Hidden away on the remote Wallacean islands of Taliabu, Peleng and Batudaka, close to where British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace independently developed the theory of evolution to Charles Darwin, five new bird species and five subspecies were detected during a six-week expedition to the area, off the coast of Sulawesi.
Although birds are among the most comprehensively documented animal classes, with only a handful of new species identified each year, the pioneering methodology used in the study, published in the journal Science, has raised the prospect of further discoveries around the world. The researchers concentrated their efforts on the islands of Taliabu and Peleng due to their likely high biodiversity because of their genetic isolation over the last few million years, revealed by using sea-depth analysis of the deep water channels in the archipelago.