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.

Monday, 20 January 2020

Flycatchers and fantails: new songbirds discovered on tiny islands

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.

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