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Archive for Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Colorful new species of bird discovered

October 11, 2006

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— A colorful bird new to science has been discovered in a remote Andean cloud forest, spurring efforts to protect the area, conservation groups have announced.

The bright yellow and red-crowned Yariguies brush-finch was named for the indigenous tribe that once inhabited the mountainous area where it was discovered and which committed mass suicide instead of submitting to Spanish colonial rule.

The discovery, published in the Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club, comes at a crucial time for conservationists. Thanks in part to the discovery, the government has decided to set aside 500 acres of the pristine cloud forest where it lives to create a national park.

The small bird can be distinguished from its closest relative by its solid black back and the lack of white marks on its wings.

"The bird was discovered in what is the last remnants of cloud forest in that region," Camila Gomez, of the Colombia conservation group ProAves, said on Monday. "There are still lots of undiscovered flora and fauna species that live in the area."

A cloud forest is a high altitude rainforest that is covered by clouds most of the time.

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