Limestone leaf warbler: New bird species discovered

Dec 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A diminutive, colorful bird living in the rocky forests of Laos and Vietnam has been discovered by a team of scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society, Lao PDR Department of Forestry, Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Swedish Museum of Natural History, BirdLife International and other groups.

Named the “limestone leaf warbler” because it breeds in Laos’s limestone karst environments - a region known for unusual wildlife - it is similar to other warblers in this area of Southeast Asia, except for its distinct vocalizations and slight morphological differences.

A description of the new species is published in the journal IBIS (The International Journal of Avian Science).

“The discovery of this is very exciting and underscores the importance of this region of Indochina for conservation,” said Colin Poole, Executive Director of the Asia Program for the Wildlife Conservation Society. “With increased attention from biologists, the Annamite mountain range of Laos in particular is revealing itself as a Lost World for new and unusual wildlife.”

The tiny bird is greenish-olive with a yellow breast and striped crown. Although it looks similar to other warblers, it is smaller with shorter wings and a larger bill than its closest relative the sulfur-breasted leaf warbler.

According to the study, the bird has a loud and distinct call, which is what first alerted the authors that the bird may be new to science.

Scientists presume there are many limestone leaf warblers in this region. But its habitat isn’t without threats. Many parts of the species’ native forests have been cleared as a result of wood collection. WCS is continuing to work with the Lao Government in an effort to reduce the threats limestone leaf warblers and other wildlife face in this region.

Earlier this year from this same region, a team of scientists from WCS and the University of Melbourne described the bare-faced bulbul - another species previously unknown to science. In 2002 in this same area, Robert Timmins of WCS described the Kha-nyou, a newly discovered species of rodent so unusual it represented the lone surviving member of an otherwise entirely extinct family. Three years earlier, he described a unique striped rabbit in the region also new to science.

Explore further: Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Bizarre bald bird discovered

Jul 30, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- An odd songbird with a bald head living in a rugged region in Laos has been discovered by scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and University of Melbourne, as part of a project ...

Laos said to harbor many new frog species

Apr 20, 2006

The Wildlife Conservation Society in New York says new species of frogs -- and lots of them -- are being discovered in the Southeast Asia nation of Laos.

Camera-shy deer caught for first time

Jul 24, 2007

A little-known species of deer called a large-antlered muntjac has been photographed for the first time in the wild, according to a survey team from the Nam Theun 2 Watershed Management and Protection Authority (WMPA) and ...

Asian waterbirds stage remarkable comeback

Apr 03, 2008

According to a report released today by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), several species of rare waterbirds from Cambodia’s famed Tonle Sap region have staged remarkable comebacks, thanks to a project ...

First Rockies natural gas report issued

Jun 16, 2006

The U.S. Wildlife Conservation Society has released the first-year results of a study on how natural gas development in the Rockies might affect wildlife.

Recommended for you

Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —The incident was captured by Dr Bruna Bezerra and colleagues in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil.  Dr Bezerra is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and a Professor ...

Orchid named after UC Riverside researcher

Apr 17, 2014

One day about eight years ago, Katia Silvera, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Riverside, and her father were on a field trip in a mountainous area in central Panama when they stumbled ...

In sex-reversed cave insects, females have the penises

Apr 17, 2014

Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on April 17 have discovered little-known cave insects with rather novel sex lives. The Brazilian insects, which represent four distinct but re ...

Fear of the cuckoo mafia

Apr 17, 2014

If a restaurant owner fails to pay the protection money demanded of him, he can expect his premises to be trashed. Warnings like these are seldom required, however, as fear of the consequences is enough to ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

Finnish inventor rethinks design of the axe

(Phys.org) —Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä is the man behind the Vipukirves Leveraxe, which is a precision tool for splitting firewood. He designed the tool to make the job easier and more efficient, with ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.