AR-News: Bird found - then habitat destroyed
unclewolf at olypen.com
Sat Nov 8 10:16:51 EST 2003
Bird found - then habitat destroyed
New Scientist vol 180 issue 2419 - 01 November 2003, page 5
IT IS a story that sums up the struggles facing conservationists. A new finch-like bird is identified for the first time in eastern Venezuela, and within two years its habitat has been destroyed to make way for a hydroelectric dam.
Miguel Lentino discovered the tiny seed-eating bird in July 2001 during a biological survey of the region for EDELCA, a Venezuelan electricity company. It was found to be new to science, and dubbed the Carrizal blue-black seedeater (Amaurospiza carrizalensis) after the tiny uninhabited island on the river Caroni where it was found. It is also the only Venezuelan representative of a genus of birds called Amaurospiza (The Auk, vol 120, p 600).
But last week Lentino revealed that the electricity company had cleared the impenetrable bamboo thicket on the island, the bird's only known habitat, before the seedeater's importance was realised. The researchers are now praying that it will be found in similar vegetation near the river.
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