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http://cedar-and-willow.blogspot.com/

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And Jay's Blog, Bizarre Zoology

http://bizarrezoology.blogspot.com/

Sunday, 27 February 2011

A New Bird Species in Madagascar



A new species of Rail has been determined to live in Madagascar. Two notices from Chad Arment:









Image: New bird discovered in Madagascar
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
February 24, 2011

The rich and unique biodiversity of Madagascar has a new member: a forest dwelling bird in the rail family, dubbed Mentocrex beankaensis. In 2009 US and Malaygasy scientists conducted a survey in Madagascar's dry Beanka Forest. They discovered several new species, of which the new rail is the first to be described.

"This bird they've known about for decades, but no one has been able to go find it and get a specimen of it," said Nick Block, a graduate student at the University of Chicago who studied the new birds molecular genetic told the Chicago Sun Times, describing the new species as 'not common at all'.

Similar to another Malagasy rail, researchers were able to show Mentocrex beankaensis is a new species with taxonomic and DNA studies.

The dry Beanka forests, where the species survived, rest on limestone, which in some cases have formed dramatic spires. The Beanka forest protected area is currently managed by Biodiversity Conservation Madagascar (BCM).

"We [BCM] have taken an approach to the conservation of the Beanka Forest resting on working in unison with local people to fulfill aspects of their economic and development needs and bestowing a sense of natural patrimony of the organisms that live in their forest. These are aspects critical for any long-term successful project. The discovery of this new species of bird and other organisms during the late 2009 expedition underlines the importance of our mission and the uniqueness of the Beanka Forest," the director of BCM, Aldus Andriamamonjy, said in a press release.

CITATION: Steve M. Goodman, Marie Jeanne Raherilalao, and Nicholas L. Block. Patterns of morphological and genetic variation in the Mentocrex kioloides complex (Aves: Gruiformes: Rallidae) from Madagascar, with the description of a new species. Zootaxa. 2776: 49-60 (2011).

http://news.mongabay.com/2011/0224-hance_bird_mad.html

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Field Museum Researchers ID New Bird Species
The Mentocrex beankaensis stays out of sight all day

JAMES LANGTON
Updated 8:15 PM CST, Thu, Feb 24, 2011

Researchers at the Chicago Field Museum have helped identify a new species of bird in the dry forests of Madagascar.

It's called the Mentocrex beankaensis.

"Even after many decades of research, nature is always full of surprises," said Madagascan Professor Dr. Marie Jeanne Raherilalao.

The small, well-camouflaged bird is classified as a new species of rail. It's a type of bird usually known for staying out of sight by day, and only making its distinctive calls at night.

Maybe that's why it was so hard to find,

"This bird they've known about for decades, but no one has been able to go find it and get a specimen of it," University of Chicago graduate student and Field Museum Researcher Nick Block told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Block helped with the molecular, genetic part of the research.

"All bird watchers will want to add it to their checklist," he said.

The find came from a 2009 expedition of Madagascar's Beanka Forest. The remote area has been a treasure trove for researchers looking to find and preserve unique species of plants and animals.

Aldus Andriamamonjy, the Director of the Association Biodiversity Conservation Madagascar, says the discovery will not only help efforts to preserve the forest, but also help improve the quality of life for people who live nearby.

He says the best approach is, "Working in unison with local people to fulfill aspects of their economic and development needs and bestowing a sense of natural patrimony of the organisms that live in their forest."

http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/field-museum-bird-species-116885848.html

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Rails are a series of smaller birds related to coots and other marsh birds, and there are a few other ones suspected in cryptozoology as "Pending" species at the moment.

Best Wishes, Dale D.

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