Despite its loud call, a new bird species has only just been discovered in Cambodia's capital city of Phnom Penh, scientists announced yesterday (June 25).
Dubbed the Cambodian tailorbird (Orthotomus chaktomuk), the wren-sized creature has a red cap, gray-to-olive wings, and a black throat. It joins the Cambodian laughingthrush as the only bird species unique to Cambodia, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), whose scientists helped make and describe the find online in the Oriental Bird Club's journal Forktail.
This related bird is also noisy and found in urban Cambodian settings. Below is a video of the Cambodian tailorbird.
"The modern discovery of an undescribed bird species within the limits of a large populous city — not to mention 30 minutes from my home — is extraordinary," WCS researcher Simon Mahood said in a statement. "The discovery indicates that new species of birds may still be found in familiar and unexpected locations."
Mahood and the other researchers warn that the bird's habitat is declining and at risk of shrinking further due to agricultural and urban expansion. The team recommends that the tailorbird should be classified as a "near threatened" species under the Internaional Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of endangered and threatened species.
An increase in exploration in Southeast Asia means that several new bird species have been discovered in the region in recent years, including the bare-faced bulbul, the Mekong wagtail and several varieties of babblers in Vietnam, WCS officials said.
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