10 New Birds Described in Biggest Avian Discovery in More Than a Century

Exciting news from Indonesia. FIVE new bird species described from small islands east of Sulewesi. I guess there are still slivers of mystery left in the world.

Here are some iNat obs from Taliabu Island:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?nelat=-0.6651844221301246&nelng=128.68377268633185&place_id=any&swlat=-3.683898769207118&swlng=123.30047190508185&iconic_taxa=Aves

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So cool the whole thing. Looks like he kept secret his 2009 findings and maybe that’s also why he went to work for a Singaporean University. A masterplan.
Terrible state of affairs that he had to name a bird after a president and that some governments block access to researchers for their fear to the “loot of scientific discoveries by foreigners”.

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governments and national researchers have become wary of foreign collectors, poaching, and biopiracy

I’m not so sure requiring permits and the involvement of researchers from within the country is a bad thing. But the long permit approval period, sure.

Once there, they beelined it for the small village at the base of the island’s tallest mountains, where they met with village elders. “In eastern Indonesia . . . if you go into the land that’s owned by a village, it’s like going into a stranger’s house," Rheindt says. “You need to make sure that they know what’s going on and involve them in the research.” After introductions, Rheindt spent several days reconnecting with villagers he met in 2009 and hired a team from the local community.

I am really happy to read about this kind of engagement.

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I don’t see where he “Had” to name the species after an ex president and see nothing wrong with it being done.

Last night’s edition of CBC Radio One’s “As it Happens” had a brief segment on the remarkable sounding song of what I believe was the Taliabu Grasshopper-Warbler. My recollection is that it was at the end of Part One, after the Exoskeleton marathoner story, so roughly a third of the way through the broadcast.

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If anyone ever posts direct obs of any of these species to inat, please post link here! Knowing birders it won’t be long before they try and add these to their life lists!

He “had” in the sense that the species is at risk and by naming it after an expresident he hopes to give some attention and maybe protection. If the species wouldn’t be at risk he would have chosen a more descriptive scientific name probably.