New bird species found in Aruncahal Pradesh

  • 14/10/2006

A new bird species has been discovered in the Eagle Nest Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh.

The discovery of the bird, which belongs to the genus Liocichla was reported in the journal Indian Birds (Vol 2, No 4, July-August 2006). Only 14 specimen of the bird, named Bugun liocichla (Liocichla bugunorum), are known to exist.

The bird was first spotted by Ramana Athreya, an astronomer at the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics in 1995, and then again in 2005. Athreya has named the bird after the Bugun tribe, which lives in the area. The bird has olive plumage with a distinctive black cap and red, black and white patches on its wings. Its closest relative is another rare Liocichla species (L omeiensis) found in few numbers in central China. Liocichla are members of the diverse bird family known as babblers.

Birdlife International, a global alliance of conservation organisations, has described the find as "the most sensational ornithological discovery in India for more than half a century.'