Indonesia’s Black-browed Babbler (also called Malacocincla perspicillata) has been rediscovered after more than 170 years (it is the longest known “missing period” of any species in Asia). In fact, it has only been spotted one time throughout history and that was back in the 1840s.
The bird was found in Borneo by two men who took photos of it before reaching out to local experts who then confirmed that it was indeed the presumed-extinct Black-browed Babbler. Mr. Panji Gusti Akbar from the Indonesian bird conservation group Birdpacker stated, “The sensational finding confirms that the Black-browed Babbler comes from south-eastern Borneo, ending the century-long confusion about its origins.”
As for its appearance, it has a stout shape with a shorter tail and a strong bill. It has very distinct colors with the upper portion of its body being a rich brown color and the underneath being greyish with thin white streaks. The legs are dark slate-grey. The colors on its head are very interesting with deep red eyes in addition to the crown being chestnut brown with a wide black eye-stripe going all the way down to the nape and sides of its neck.
Pictures of the Black-browed Babbler can be seen here.
In other related news, an extremely rare Australian bee (named Pharohylaeus lactiferus) that hasn’t been recorded in nearly 100 years has finally been rediscovered. As a matter of fact, only six of them have ever been discovered with the last one being documented back in 1923 in Queensland.
Researchers from Flinders University found the bee after studying numerous samples from 225 general and 20 targeted sites at different locations across Queensland and New South Wales. James Dorey, who is a Flinders University biological sciences PhD candidate, explained this further, “Three populations of P. lactiferous were found by sampling bees visiting their favored plant species along much of the Australian east coast, suggesting population isolation.”
Since the bees are already very rare, they are highly susceptible to habitat destruction such as loss of trees from humans cutting them down or by fires. They are also quite vulnerable because of their flower preferences. “Collections indicate possible floral and habitat specialization with specimens only visiting firewheel trees, Stenocarpus sinuatus (Proteaceae), and Illawarra flame trees, Brachychiton acerifolius (Malvaceae), to the exclusion of other available floral resources,” Mr. Dorey explained.
Pictures of the Pharohylaeus lactiferus bee can be seen here.
Let’s hope that these two newly rediscovered species can thrive in their population numbers and survive for many years to come.