A new species of Rail from Madagascar has been described in the scientific journal Zootaxa (click for pdf) by Goodman et al . One of the authors is well known birder Nick Block from Texas who was responsible for the genetic analysis. The new species named Tsingy Wood Rail Mentocrax beankaensis is closely related to Madasgascar Wood Rail Mentocrax kioloides
New bird to science emphasizes the critical need to conserve the remaining dry forests of Madagascar
In a recent issue of the scientific journal Zootaxa, researchers from Madagascar and the United States described a new species of forest-dwelling rail. The new bird was named Mentocrex beankaensis, with the genus Mentocrex being endemic to Madagascar and the new species beankaensis being coined after the type locality, the Beanka Forest in western central Madagascar. This species was distinguished from another in the same genus, known from the eastern portion of the island, based on aspects of size, plumage, and DNA.
The dry forests of western Madagascar have been drastically reduced in size. Estimates proposed by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) indicate that 97 percent of the original forest cover in this portion of the island has disappeared since humans arrived some 2,500 years ago. Over the past decades these remaining dry forest areas have been the sites of numerous discoveries of plant and animal species new to science. The Beanka Forest is a largely intact area resting on exposed limestone formation with razor-sharp pinnacle like structures, which are known in Malagasy, the language of Madagascar, as tsingy.
Gunnar: Book review: Reservoir Cats: They came, they saw, they sprayed – and then they fucked off. A dog would never do that. I should ha
Grrlscientist: Journal Club: Jumping genes reveal deep relationships between parrots and songbirds: SUMMARY: A new study adds support to two earlier reports that songbirds and parrots are each other’s
Rich Hoyer: Oregon in Spring Tour 2011: I’m in the middle of my seventh Oregon in Spring tour – 10 days of exciting birding from the coast t
Category:Birding North America
Gunnar:Galapagos Frigatebird – a new split: But how shall you ID Galapagos Frigatebird when out of range? In a recent paper from Proceedings of
Gunnar:Bird mimics steal Meerkats’ food: Fork-tailed drongos use deceptive mimicked alarm calls to steal food A very interesting report from
Gyorgy Szimuly:Another New Storm-Petrel Discovered: Fantastic news flying in cyber space about a recent expedition to collect data about the new Storm-P
Gunnar:African vultures also in Danger: Kenya Vultures declining! Most birders have heard of the critical state of the vultures of the Indea