The newly-discovered Cambodian tailorbird has been found living among the 1.5 million people in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. (Photo : James Eaton / Birdtour Asia)
Sometimes it is just easier to hide in plain sight. A new team of international researchers have discovered a new species of bird that has been pushed from its habitat and forced to take up living among 1.5-million people.
"The modern discovery of an un-described bird species within the limits of a large populous city - not to mention 30 minutes from my home - is extraordinary," said Mahood. "The discovery indicates that new species of birds may still be found in familiar and unexpected locations."
The team of scientists, consisting of members from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), BirdLife International, and other worldwide nature organizations, found the Cambodian tailorbird (Orthotomus chaktomuk) living in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh and regions surrounding the city.
"Asia contains a spectacular concentration of bird life, but is also under sharply increasing threats ranging from large scale development projects to illegal hunting," WCS coordinator of bird conversation Steve Zack explained. "Further work is needed to better understand the distribution and ecology of this exciting newly described species to determine its conservation needs."
The a small grey, orange-crowned bird typically lives in the scrub, and habitat loss seems to have driven the creature in the capital city. The Cambodian tailorbird is an example that researchers hope will highlight the devastating effects of habitat loss on wildlife, and how many uncovered wonders there are in the world yet to be discovered.
"Most newly discovered bird species in recent years have proved to be threatened with extinction or of conservation concern, highlighting the crisis facing the planet's biodiversity," said Johnathan C. Eames from BirdLife International.
You can read the full study detailing the discovery of the new bird in the Oriental Bird Club's journal Forktail.