Madidi National Park expected to contain 11 percent of all the world’s bird species
173 vertebrate species and more than 500 butterfly varieties were added to formal park list across first seven sites. Many more expected at current site
Two-year expedition will span 15 sites and more than 5,000 meters in altitude
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Identidad Madidi Announces 1000 Confirmed Bird Species For Bolivia’s Madidi National Park
NEW YORK (July 7, 2016) — WCS reports that the groundbreaking Bolivian scientific expedition, Identidad Madidi, has confirmed the 1,000th bird species in Madidi National Park, one of the world’s most biodiverse protected areas and a mecca of bird life.
The 1,000th bird recorded—the dusky-tailed flatbill (Ramphotrigon fuscicauda)—was a surprise to the team; its song was detected by the ornithologist while analyzing audio recordings in his office in Cochabamba. The bird was recorded at the sixth site of the two-year expedition into the park. This leg of the expedition occurred in October 2015 exploring perhaps the most biologically diverse site in the park: within the Amazonian rainforests and foothill forests of Alto Madidi in the upper reaches of the Madidi River.
“As a young Bolivian ornithologist it is so exciting to be working in this incredible park and I am extremely pleased to be able to record the milestone 1000th bird for Madidi,” said expedition researcher Victor Hugo Garcia of Armonia who registered the species. “I knew that my audiotapes might reveal a few more records for the trip, and perhaps for the site, but it was a surprise to find a new record for the park. Listening through hours of recordings after every field trip is major commitment and perhaps not particularly thrilling, but surprises like this one make it all worthwhile.”
The audio recording of the dusky-tailed flatbill has been verified by two expert ornithologists from the Bolivian conservation NGO Armonía (http://armoniabolivia.org/). Bennett Hennessey, renowned Madidi ornithologist and the executive director of Armonia said: “Such phenomenal bird diversity, all within a single protected area, highlights the global importance of Madidi National Park for wildlife conservation.”
Dr. Robert Wallace of WCS added: “It is especially fitting that Madidi´s 1000th bird was registered at Alto Madidi and confirmed by a young Bolivian ornithologist who is able to recognize birdsong and natural history to register species. Twenty-five years ago the late Ted Parker III, a legendary Neotropical ornithologist who pioneered the use of vocalization knowledge in tropical bird surveys and influenced a whole generation of Latin American ornithologists, visited Alto Madidi and declared that Bolivia had the chance to create the worlds most biologically diverse protected area. Bolivia subsequently created Madidi National Park, and biological research such as Identidad Madidi has since has proved Ted was right. We are especially pleased to be sharing this wonderful biological diversity with Bolivia and the world online.”
Members of the public can follow the expedition at www.identidadmadidi.org, and especially at FB/IdentidadMadidi, #IDMadidi.”
Identidad Madidi is a multi-institutional effort to describe still unknown species and to showcase the wonders of Bolivia’s extraordinary natural heritage at home and abroad. The expedition officially began on June 5th 2015 and will eventually visit 15 sites lasting two years as a team of Bolivian scientists works to expand existing knowledge on Madidi’s birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish and butterflies along an altitudinal pathway descending more than 5,000 meters (more than 16,000 feet) from the mountains of the high Andes into the tropical Amazonian forests and grasslands of northern Bolivia.
Participating institutions include the Ministry of the Environment and Water, the Bolivian National Park Service, the Vice Ministry of Science and Technology, Madidi National Park, the Bolivian Biodiversity Network, WCS, the Institute of Ecology, Bolivian National Herbarium, Bolivian Faunal Collection and Armonia, with funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and WCS.
Across the seventh site in the foothill forests of the Hondo river in April and May 2016, the Identidad Madidi team registered more than 400 species of vertebrates and around 150 species of butterfly, including at least 18 new vertebrate records. Especially exciting records from this site included a first record for the speckled worm lizard (Amphisbaena fuliginosa), a rare observation of the water opossum (Chironectes minimus), another new vertebrate record for Madidi, the pike cichlid (Crenicichla semicincta), and one of the most spectacular members of the “Madidi 1000 Club”, the stunning Amazonian royal flycatcher (Onychorhynchus (coronatus) coronatus).
The Bolivian Ministry of the Environment and Water has recently prioritized a National Campaign to protect wildlife and natural heritage called: “They have no voice, but we do; let’s fight against illegal wildlife trafficking,” with the objective of educating citizens about the problem of illegal wildlife use, which together with drug trafficking, arms dealing, and human trafficking is now among the largest organized crime networks.
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