Scientists from the American Bird Conservancy have rediscovered a rare pigeon that has not been recorded for nearly 140 years.
Researchers set up camera traps on Fergusson Island, Papua New Guinea, and the results show the black-naped pheasant-pigeon pictured.
According to the American Bird Conservancy, the pigeon is a “large, ground-dwelling pigeon” with a “broad and compressed tail” and lives on the eastern island of Papua New Guinea.
Photos and videos of this bird are the first to be scientifically documented since 1882.
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Seeing the pictures was like “finding a unicorn,” said John C. Mittermeier, Director of the Lost Birds program at the American Bird Conservancy and the tour’s sponsor.
“It’s the moment you dream of all your life as a conservationist and bird watcher,” he added.
Jordan Boersma, a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University and the leader of the visiting team, said he was “shocked by the image of the bird walking in front of our camera,” saying that when the cameras were installed, he saw that it was there. less than one percent chance of getting a picture of a black-naped pheasant-pigeon.”
Christina Biggs, Director of Search for Lost Species at Re:wild, said, “This rediscovery is a wonderful sign of hope for some birds that have been lost for half a century or more.”
Roger Safford, Senior Program Manager for Preventing Extinctions at BirdLife International, said, “as well as giving hope to the search for other lost species, the information collected by the group has provided the basis for the protection of rare, critically endangered birds, as well as other unique species of Fergusson Island .”
This article was originally published by Business Insider.
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