HOME | |

Trinity College scientists discover new bird species in Indonesia

They are proposing the bird be called the 'Wakatobi Flowerpecker'

Trinity College scientists discover new bird species in Indonesia
Author image
Jack Quann
08:00 Thursday 5 June 2014

Scientists from Trinity College in Dublin have discovered a new species of bird in Indonesia. Zoologists identified a currently unrecognised species from the threatened Sulawesi region.

They are proposing that the colourful bird - which looks like an exotic robin - should be called the 'Wakatobi Flowerpecker'.

This follows numerous expeditions to South-east Sulawesi and its offshore islands. The group have published evidence stating that a population of birds from the Wakatobi Islands should be recognised as a unique species.

Despite looking similar to the Grey-sided Flowerpecker, from mainland Sulawesi, Wakatobi Flowerpeckers are significantly larger and distinct.

The genetic information from this study revealed that the two flowerpecker species did not mix or interbreed - which suggests that they do not cross the 27 kilometre stretch of ocean between them.

A comparison of the Grey-sided Flowerpecker (below) and the new Wakatobi Flowerpecker (above)

These findings have been published in the journal PLOS ONE. They suggest that the lack of research and particular absence of genetic analyses performed on similar birds has likely led to a significant underestimation of the number of species in the Sulawesi region.
This means, they suggest, that there are many more bird species awaiting description. The team zoologists are calling for more detailed study of the bird populations in the Sulawesi region as a result.

"Accurate data on the distribution and status of bird species are regularly used to inform conservation practices and industrial development. As humans are changing the natural environments of Sulawesi at an incredibly fast rate, the discovery and description of species in the region is of major importance" said lead author of the journal article, and PhD student in Zoology at Trinity, Seán Kelly.

"This study also highlights the need for integrative, multi-disciplinary research in the region. Without this we will likely fail to recognise and appreciate the true bio-diversity of this remarkable region".

"Furthermore, we run the risk of losing evolutionarily distinct species before we can even discover or enjoy them" he added.

comments powered by Disqus
  • newstalk.ie image

    These Irish lads should be working for Fáilte Ireland

    newstalk.ie image

    Watch Pat Kenny and George Hook take the Ice Bucket Challenge

    newstalk.ie image

    Woman claims she was sexually assaulted on a Malaysia Airline flight

    newstalk.ie image

    Car insurer proposes creating pink 'women only' driving...

    newstalk.ie image

    Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe 'acutely aware' of...

    newstalk.ie image

    VIDEO: David Moyes calls out Irish golfer in the Ice Bucket...

    newstalk.ie image

    Books of condolence opened for Albert Reynolds

    newstalk.ie image

    Why are we so nostalgic for the 1980s ?

    newstalk.ie image

    Mother of terminally ill baby seeks to stop HSE 'do not...

    newstalk.ie image

    Minister should intervene in Irish Rail dispute - NBRU secretary

  • newstalk.ie image

    Today's Live Scores

    newstalk.ie image

    Why did the Cold War end?

    newstalk.ie image

    Eimear McBride and the art of experimental fiction

    newstalk.ie image

    Body of former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds will lie in State

    newstalk.ie image

    HSE confirms Donegal man did not die from Ebola

    newstalk.ie image

    Ukraine accuses Russia of 'direct invasion' after trucks...

    newstalk.ie image

    Books of condolence opened for Albert Reynolds

    newstalk.ie image

    Icelandic volcano monitoring continues amid eruption fears

    newstalk.ie image

    Hamas reported to have killed 11 suspected informers for Israel

    newstalk.ie image

    Family said to have first heard about Ebola investigation through...