Researchers rediscover a bird lost to science for 140 years
The scientists described finding a picture of the ground-dwelling black-naped pheasant-pigeon as "like finding a unicorn".
Scientists confirmed the sighting of a bird that hasn't been seen in 140 years in the last hours of a month-long quest amid tough jungles crawling with mosquitos.
The scientists described finding a picture of the ground-dwelling black-naped pheasant-pigeon as "like finding a unicorn."
The black-naped pheasant pigeon, first documented in 1882 and not seen since, is now probably certainly New Guinea's most endangered bird, reinforcing the need to conserve as much of its home of Fergusson Island off the east coast of the mainland as possible.
Jordan Boersma, expedition co-leader and a postdoctoral researcher at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, was catching his breath on a mountainside while looking through camera trap photographs only hours before their search was called off.
Boersma said, as quoted by the Audubon Society Boersma: “Suddenly I was confronted with this image of what at that time felt like a mythical creature”.
The expedition is funded by The Search for Lost Birds, an effort organized by BirdLife International, Re: wild, and the American Bird Conservancy to identify 150 avian species lost to science but not declared extinct.
Now that the species has been proven to exist, there is not just one less bird on the Search for Lost Birds' 150-bird list, but also one less of 20 that haven't been spotted in over a century.