Friday, January 15, 2010

ENV: Large-billed Reed Warbler

Breeding ground of rare bird discovered
By Dan Vergano, Birdx-blog200

A long-sought breeding ground of one of the world's rarest birds has turned up in Afghanistan, conservation scientists report.

In the journal BirdingASIA, a team led by Robert Timmins of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) report the tagging of twenty large-billed reed warblers, Acrocephalus orinus, at a site in the Pamir Mountains of north-eastern Afghanistan, "an oasis for more than 50 species of resident and migratory birds," according to the study.

"Practically nothing is known about this species, so this discovery of the breeding area represents a flood of new information on the large-billed reed warbler," said WCS's Colin Poole, in a statement. "This new knowledge of the bird also indicates that the Wakhan Corridor still holds biological secrets and is critically important for future conservation efforts in Afghanistan."

"Fortunately passerine birds are not trapped or hunted by local people in the Wakhan, and the main threat to the large-billed reed warbler in the area appears to be habitat loss," concludes the study.

Photo: A large-billed reed warbler
(Wildlife Conservation Society)

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