15 new bird species discovered in Brazil

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From Wildlife Extra:

15 new species of birds discovered in Brazil

New crow and spectacular tree creeper amongst new discoveries

June 2013. Since the second half of the nineteenth century Brazilian ornithology has not made a significant contribution to enlarging the knowledge of Brazilian biodiversity, but that is about to change in a major way.

15 new species!

15 new species of birds from the Brazilian Amazon will be formally described for the first time in a number of scientific articles published in July, and will also appear in a special volume of the Handbook of the birds of the world.

The authors of the descriptions belong to three national research institutions-the Museum of Zoology of the University of São Paulo (MZ-USP), Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (Inpa), Manaus, and Emílio Goeldi Paraense Museum (MPEG), Belém – and to the Museum of Natural Science at the State University of the Louisiania (LSUMNS), United States.

Not since 1871, when Austrian August von Pelzeln described 40 new species, have so many new birds from Brazil been described simultaneously.

Eleven endemics

Eleven of the new species are endemic of Brazil and four can be found also in Peru and Bolivia. Eight occur only west of the Madeira River, in the western part of the Amazon; five inhabit exclusively the region between the Madeira and the Tapajós Rivers, in the Centre of the northern region; and two are found just to the east of the Tapajós, Pará, in the easternmost portion of the tropical forest.

New book

In the special volume of the Handbook, the authors describe the morphology, genetics and the vocalizations of the new species, and also there are specific maps for each species. However, until the book has been officially published, the scientific name and some details about the anatomy and the way of life of the new species will not be disclosed.

New species of crow

The largest and most spectacular of the new species is a crow, of the genus Cyanocorax, which measures about 35 cm long, which is only found amidst the natural forest between the rivers Madeira and Purus, in Amazonas State. “This crow is endangered” says Mario Cohn-Haft, curator of the Ornithology section of INPA, principal discoverer of “cancão–da-campina” (Song of the-fields), the popular name coined for the bird.

The habitat of the newly discovered crow is in danger and it is possible that it will disappear before anyone has had time to study it in depth.

With the exception of one bird of the Piciformes family (toucans and woodpeckers), the other new Amazonian species are all passerines (Songbirds), including five species the Thamnophilidae family (which includes Anteaters)

sic; antbirds is meant

, four in the dendrocolaptinae, three large tyrant flycatchers and one Gnatcatcher.

To read more information, (in Portugese), go to the Pesquisa website.


Published by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), the Pesquisa FAPESP magazine was launched in October 1999 for the primary purpose of disseminating and promoting the results of Brazilian scientific and technological output, of which FAPESP is one of the most important research sponsoring agencies.

Still largely covered by intact forests, the state of Amapá in the Brazilian Amazon has been making great strides in sustainable development. CI-Brazil has been working with Amapá for the past 12 years, and has supported the protection of some 15 million hectares (37 million acres) of forest in the state — 3/4 of the state’s territory.  See more here.

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