A bird thought to be extinct was rediscovered in its native country of Myanmar by a team of scientists. The discovery was detailed in the magazine of the Oriental Bird Club, the issue of Birding Asia.
The last time the Jerdon’s babbler was seen in Myanmar was in July 1941, but now a team of researchers have found a living specimen in near the Sittaung River.
The researchers involved in this discovery come from the National University of Singapore and the Wildlife Conservation Society, Myanmar’s Nature and Wildlife Conservation Division. They found the bird in the town of Myitkyo, near the Sittaung River, while researchers were surveying a site near an abandoned agriculture station.
Director of WCS’s Regional Conservation Hub in Singapore, Colin Poole, said that the reason Jerdon’s babbler was considered extinct, aside from the fact that it was no longer observed in nature, was the degradation of the vast grasslands in Myanmar, which are the bird’s natural habitat. He continued:
This discovery not only proves that the species still exists in Myanmar but that the habitat can still be found as well. Future work is needed to identify remaining pockets of natural grassland and develop systems for local communities to conserve and benefit from them.
So how did the scientists see the bird? First they heard its call and then they played back a recording of its call and in no time, they saw an adult Jerdon’s babbler. In two days following the initial spotting, the scientists saw several more birds and managed to obtain high quality photographs and even blood samples.
The reason why researchers and scientists haven’t been able to do as much research as needed in Myanmar is the military dictatorship that came into play in the 1960. Through it Myanmar shut itself off from not just scientists, but the entire word. In 2010, the country moved to a civilian rules and so the country has opened up its borders once more. Nature lovers all over the world are now coming to Myanmar to observe and document the country’s wonderful flora and fauna.
A new species of monkey was discovered in 2010 in Myanar and in 2008, a population of spoon-billed sand piper was uncovered.
Image Source: The Blaze