Watch | Scientists rediscover 'lost' black-naped pheasant pigeon, 140 years after it was last spotted
Scientists have rediscovered the black-naped pheasant pigeon, a rare bird that was last sighted almost 140 years ago in Papua New Guinea, as per a report by the Independent. The bird was spotted deep in the forests of Papua New Guinea in footage captured by the research team.
The chicken-sized bird is among 20 “lost” birds that have not been sighted for over a century. As per Audubon Magazine, the bird species hasn’t been documented by scientists since it was first described in 1882. BBC reported that the research team that captured the video toiled for a month, where it interviewed the locals and set up camera traps. Finally, they succeeded in September.
"It felt like finding a unicorn," John C Mittermeier, director of the lost birds programme at the American Bird Conservancy and a co-leader of the eight-member expedition, told the BBC. “To find something that’s been gone for that long, that you’re thinking is almost extinct, and then to figure out that it’s not extinct, it feels like finding a unicorn or a Bigfoot,” he said.
The research initiative is a result of the collaborative efforts of BirdLife International, Rewild, and the American Bird Conservancy. The objective of the initiative is to rediscover more than 150 bird species that have not been spotted for at least a decade but haven’t been declared extinct either.
A similar attempt at rediscovering the black-naped pheasant pigeon failed earlier in 2019 at Fergusson Island near Papua New Guinea. However, this year the team tasted success and found the bird on the western slope of Mount Kilkerran - the island’s highest peak.