Chinese year of the babbler
A new species of babbler has been described from Guangxi province in south-west China close to the border with Vietnam. Named Nonggang Babbler Stachyris nonggangensis, after the reserve at which it was discovered, this new species is closely related to Sooty Babbler S. herberti but is larger and has white crescent patches behind the ear coverts and dark spots on the upper breast and throat.
Ornithologists, Zhou Fang and Jiang Aiwu from Guangxi University first sighted the birds in surveys during 2005 and confirmed its identity as an undescribed taxon the following year. A formal description was published in a recent edition of leading ornithological journal The Auk.
A revised and enlarged directory of Important Bird Areas in China has been launched at the Society of Conservation Biology meeting in Beijing: here.