Wednesday, January 20, 2010

'World's least known bird' found breeding in Afghanistan

The World of ornithology was stunned by the rediscovery of Large-billed Leaf Warbler after 139 years in 2006 in Thailand. Until that the bird was known by only one specimen collected in 1867. Several other specimens were found later in museums with different tags due to misidentifications. However, the species was considered world’s least known bird since almost nothing was known about the bird.

The breeding site of Large-billed Reed-warbler Acrocephalus orinus, has been discovered in the remote and rugged Wakhan Corridor of the Pamir Mountains of north-eastern Afghanistan.

Using a combination of field observations, museum specimens, DNA sequencing, and the first known audio recording of the species, researchers verified the discovery by capturing and releasing almost 20 birds earlier this year, the largest number ever recorded.

Read the paper on the findings in the most recent edition of BirdingASIA, the magazine of the Oriental Bird Club.

Photo Credit: WCS Afghanistan

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