New species of parrot and mouse discovered

April 6, 2006

Scientists say they've discovered new parrot and mouse species on Camiguin, the smallest of the thousands of Philippines islands.

Lawrence Heaney, curator of mammals at The Field Museum in Chicago and a member of the research team, said the bird is a hanging-parrot, or Colasisi, and the new rodent is a Philippine forest mouse with large ears and eyes, a long tail and rusty-brown fur. Neither the parrot or mouse species is found anywhere else on Earth, The Independent reported Thursday.

Camiguin was once heavily forested, but, by 2001, only 18 percent of the island was covered by rainforest.

"Knowing that at least 54 species of birds and at least 24 species of mammals live on Camiguin, and that some of these animals are found nowhere else on Earth, makes us realize how important this island is in terms of conservation," Heaney told The Independent, adding for such animals to survive extinction, the dwindling forests where they live must be protected.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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