Black-Naped Pheasant-Pigeon Walks Back to Existence, Spotted in Papua New Guinea after 140-Years
The black-naped pheasant-pigeon has been "rediscovered" by scientists 140 years after it was last seen. As reported by the BBC, biologists have identified the black-naped pheasant-pigeon, a peculiar bird that was last seen 140 years ago. The film was shot deep in the forests of Papua New Guinea.
Based on the site, the crew that captured the footage searched for a month, questioning locals while setting up camera traps. In September, they finally experienced triumph. The Black-naped Pheasant-pigeon is unique on Papua New Guinea's Fergusson Island, according to the worldwide conservation campaign Edge of Existence.
It was like encountering a unicorn, as per John C Mittermeier, head of the American Bird Conservancy's missing birds program as well as a co-leader of the eight-person trip. The study is part of The Project for Lost Birds, a cooperation involving BirdLife International, Rewild, and the American Bird Conservancy.
Locating Birds Believed To Be Extinct
Its goal is to locate bird species that have not yet been proclaimed extinct but have been missing for more than ten years. According to scientists, there are 150 distinct varieties. Researchers attempted to locate the bird again in 2019 but were unsuccessful. This time, they were successful on the southwestern slope of Mount Kilkerran, the island's tallest mountain, as per BBC.
One such local provided a good lead. He recounted hearing the bird's unusual sounds and sighting the pheasant-pigeon multiple times in an area with steep peaks and valleys. The researchers installed cameras in the region and ultimately caught the bird only days before the crew was scheduled to depart the island.
Cornell University researcher Jordan Boersma described how he was going through the photographs, and how he was struck by a photograph of a bird passing straight by his camera. The photographs they acquired represent the very first-time scientists have documented the long-lost species since 1882.
Almost nothing is documented about the species, experts estimate that the species on Fergusson Island is tiny and declining. However, the team believes that the knowledge they have obtained might be utilized to help conserve the remaining birds. A spokeswoman for the Rewild project reported that, on their return trip from Fergusson to Normanby, the researchers' boat had to evade pirates, which are widespread in the area.
Papua New Guinea's Fauna-Rich Tropical Island
The bird is poorly studied, with only two specimens collected in 1882 known to science. According to the locals, it is still alive and well, but it might have a very limited population. It is thought to be diminishing due to a reduction in the size of its woodland habitat. As a result, it is listed as Critically Endangered, as per BirdLife International.
New Guinea is the world's biggest tropical island, partitioned between Papua New Guinea (PNG) throughout the east but also Indonesia in the west. After Amazon and the Congo, it has the world's third-biggest tract of rainforest.
A study from WWF the Final Frontier: Newly Discovered Species of New Guinea (1998-2008) documents the discovery of 218 new plant species, almost 100 of which are orchids, 43 reptiles, and 12 animals, including a rare snub-fin dolphin, on the tropical island over ten years. There are 580 invertebrates, 134 amphibians, 2 birds, and 71 fish, including a very uncommon 2.5m long river shark.
First Video Ever of the Black-naped Pheasant-Pigeon