Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hope for the Night Parrot?

Apparently yes. Not only not extinct, but breeding (at least in some areas).


One of the most famous of 'missing' birds is the elusive Night parrot, an obscure nocturnal species discovered by John McDouall Stuart in 1845 (though not named until 1861). Small, reluctant to fly, highly nomadic and cryptically coloured, it's never been well known and even now there are only 23 or so specimens in collections. You might know the Night parrot as Geopsittacus occidentalis but many ornithologists now regard it as so close to the Ground parrot Pezoporus wallicus that both are included within the same genus (and Pezoporus Illiger, 1811 is older than Geopsittacus Gould, 1861).

By the early decades of the 20th century, Night parrots seemed all but gone, and by 1912 it was generally thought that the species was extinct.

You can read the rest at the Tetrapod Zoology blog and find out why the decapitated dead body of a parrot was good news.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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