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Grallaria fenwickorum: New species for Science

Friday 21 May 2010.

A new species of bird has been described for science and its name has been dedicated to an important family in conservation. The new species of antpitta, endemic to Colombia and South America, was called Fenwick’s Antpitta (Grallaria fenwickorum), in honor of the president of American Bird Conservancy (ABC) George Fenwick and his family for the unconditional and strong commitment for conservation of birds in Colombia.

After two years of research related to the discovery of the bird in 2008, the capture and evaluation process were outstanding, because it is one of the first times that a species is described solely with the capture of an individual which was banded, measured and photographed; also DNA samples were taken and it was later released safely to its habitat.

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Tororoi de Urrao (Grallaria fenwickorum)

The habitat of this species is very restricted, characterized mainly by shrubbery composed of Chusquea bamboo in the less humid parts of the Eastern slope of the Western Cordillera. Sadly, the habitat of this species has been subject of an intensive deforestation in the past decades, reason why this bird has been proposed in Critical status according to the criteria of the IUCN-International Union for Conservation of Nature.

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The habitat of this species is very restricted, characterized mainly by shrubbery composed of Chusquea bamboo in the less humid parts of the Eastern slope of the Western Cordillera. Sadly, the habitat of this species has been subject of an intensive deforestation in the past decades, reason why this bird has been proposed in Critical status according to the criteria of the IUCN-International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The article about the complete description of this species consists of 21 pages and is available at www.proaves.org. The authors give special recognition to the Fenwick Family- George, his wife Rita (Development Vicepresident for ABC) and their offsprings Cyrus, Sara and Raquel from The Plains, Virginia. It is important to highlight that the Fenwick family has dedicated personal resources to support Fundacion ProAves in the parchase and conservation of 731 hectares [1.820 acres] of the Paramo del Sol to perpetuity, establishing the Colibri del Sol Natural Bird Reserve, they also financed the research conducted to develop this important discovery.

The Grallaria Fenwickorum is a cinnamon-gray colored average size bird that weighs around 50 grams. This species is distinguished of its most near relative, the Grallaria Milleri, because it doesn’t have a brown band on its chest (this species chest is color grey uniform) and has a brown light plumage. The vocalizations of both species are different. The Grallaria Fenwickorum is a bird of shy character, forages insects in the verbiage and rarely ascends to sing in the bamboo.

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Feather samples of (Grallaria fenwickorum) on the Natural Reserve Colibri of the Sol in Colombia. It includes a combination of the wings, tail and especially of the body’s plumage.

Having described this species, we expect to promote more measures of conservation for Grallaria’s new species and its habitat.

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Video Reserva Natural de las Aves Colibrí del Sol.
Imágenes de la Grallaria minuto 4:24

With the support of:

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