Search for Lost Birds: Finding the most wanted birds in the world

South Island Kokako, Callaeas cinerea, collected no data, New Zealand.

The South Island kōkako, final formally sighted in 1967

Te Papa (OR.010842) CC BY 4.0

IT WAS the primary day of 2023 and John Mittermeier was feeling dispirited. He and his colleagues had been in Madagascar for 10 days looking for a chook final seen greater than twenty years in the past. Lengthy treks on the lookout for its native forest habitat had revealed swathes of land cleared for agriculture and vanilla manufacturing. They’d confronted rain and leeches and Mittermeier had been sick a lot of the time. And, in two days, they’d begin heading house.

The crew had simply moved to a brand new location and Mittermeier had awoken stuffed with hope, however he quickly realised that the surroundings there was additionally degraded. “I went from a excessive of anticipation to ‘it is a catastrophe’,” he says. By 9 am he was strolling again to camp. Then it occurred. “Increase! There was a dusky tetraka.”

This little inexperienced chook with its yellow throat and eye rings is so particular that it makes the “most-wanted” listing of the Seek for Misplaced Birds. The initiative, launched in 2021, goals to make use of the joy that elusive species encourage to direct the world’s military of birdwatchers, researchers and conservationists to hunt out avians misplaced to science. It even affords monetary assist for some searches.

PHOTO: A dusky Tetraka, the second species to be rediscovered by the Search for Lost Birds. (Photo by John C. Mittermeier) PHOTO: A dusky Tetraka, the second species to be rediscovered by the Search for Lost Birds. (Photo by John C. Mittermeier) The dusky tetraka, a small olive and yellow-throated bird that hops around on the ground and has eluded ornithologists for 24 years, was rediscovered by an expedition team searching the tropical forests of northeastern Madagascar. The expedition team, led by The Peregrine Fund?s Madagascar Program, found the species in two different remote sites; one on the Masoala peninsula and another near Andapa in late December 2022 and early January. The last documented sighting of the dusky tetraka was in 1999, making it one of the top 10 most wanted lost birds by the Search for Lost Birds, a collaboration between Re:wild, American Bird Conservancy and BirdLife International. Added by Devin Murphy Copyright John C. Mittermeier

The dusky tetraka

John C. Mittermeier

Searching for long-lost species helps conservationists determine the place their focus ought to be, says Christina Biggs at conservation organisation Re:wild. Discovering them can convey hope. “We stay in a time of apocalyptic climate-change fatigue,” she says. …