Unique voice leads Peru to new bird

6th Aug 2013

Peru has long been a dream destination for wildlife lovers on trekking holidays.

Its vast acreage of jungles and venues such as Manu National Park are home to vast arrays of fascinating animals and birds.

Peru boasts living treasures such as jaguars, giant otters, tree frogs, giant anteaters, deer, tapir and 13 species of monkey.

Its exotic bird roll-call includes 10 species of toucan and seven types of macaws alone.

Now "twitchers" could be even more attracted to Peru on avian specialist tours with the discovery of a new species there.

The Junin Tapaculo was found in the remote cloud forests of the Amazon by researchers from the University of Kansas.

Peter Hosner, a doctoral student of ecology and evolutionary biology, discovered the bird while conducting fieldwork in a largely uncharted region of Junin in central Peru.

Though originally discovered five years ago, the bird has been difficult to identify as a new species.

This is because of its similarity to other Tapaculos.

The Junin Tapaculo is small, wren-like bird of a blackish colour.

They tend to be found on the ground in thick vegetation high above sea level.

The Junin Tapaculo's distinctive voice led Hosner to it.

Hosner said: "I'd never heard anything like it before. We made voice recordings and collected specimens that are needed in all scientific species descriptions."

It was first thought the recordings were a rare vocalisation of an already known species.

But archive studies confirmed the bird as something that was uncharted.


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