BirdLife media release: Lost Manakin Rediscovered

Subject: BirdLife media release: Lost Manakin Rediscovered
From: Hugo Phillipps <>
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 09:37:01 +1000
Hi everybody -

For your information, a media release from BirdLife International below.



Cambridge, England, 29 May 2002 - A bird which had been thought to be
possibly extinct has been rediscovered by Brazilian scientists in the
Amazon rainforest.

The Golden-crowned Manakin has been found by bird researchers forty-five
years after it was last seen and first discovered.  However, the finders
fear that its survival could be threatened by continued destruction of the
rainforest for timber extraction, creation of pasture and road development.

Found again in the Pará region of Brazil, the bird is considered to be one
of the most enigmatic species of South American bird-life.  It was first
discovered by German scientist Helmut Sick in 1957, and officially
recognised as a species in 1959.  Several unsuccessful attempts have since
been made to find the bird.

Fábio Olmos who, together with José Fernando Pacheco, re-discovered the
species said: "We were thrilled to find the lost manakin - quite
distinctive from other manakins." He added: "The local economy is based on
logging and cattle-ranching on cleared land.  The Brazilian government is
encouraging colonization but has no way of controlling loggers, squatters,
colonists and gold miners once access is created.  Forest destruction will
remain a major threat to the long-term survival of this beautiful bird and
other wildlife of the area."

Alison Stattersfield who leads on BirdLife's Globally threatened species
monitoring said: "This is tremendous news - this bird hasn't been recorded
for 45 years - but there are genuine concerns that its habitat is under
threat from the continued destruction of the fantastic Amazonian
rainforest.  It is vital that this wonderful natural resource is saved from
further destruction and that the Brazilian environmental authorities
implement an effective system of protected areas for the region's


1.  BirdLife International is a global alliance of conservation
organizations working in more than 100 countries who, together, are the
leading authority on the status of birds, their habitats and the issues and
problems affecting bird life.

2.  The first priority for the BirdLife International's new work in Brazil
which started in March 2000 was to implement site conservation projects at
two Atlantic forest sites in the north-east of the country.  The BirdLife
Brazil Programme is also working to establish a network of
conservationists, including Fábio Olmos and José Fernando Pacheco who
re-discovered the manakin.

3.  BirdLife International monitors the state of the world's birds and is
the official source for birds for the IUCN Red List.

4.  The Golden-crowned Manakin is one of the least known birds in the world
- five specimens were found in 1957 and only one since.  The species is on
the IUCN Red List of threatened animals (status Vulnerable).

5.  The manakin was found whilst making surveys along the Cuiabá-Santarém
Road which is planned to be paved as part of the Avança Brasil Development
Programme to ease transport access for the logging industry.  This area is
located between the Tapajós and Xingu rivers.  There are no protected areas
for habitat conservation in this region of Brazil.  Existing National
Forests and Indian Reserves do not guarantee the integrity of the
ecosystem, as timber exploitation along with other potentially destructive
activities are allowed.

For further information please contact Ade Long at BirdLife International
in Cambridge, UK, on
+44 (0) 1223 277 318 or 07779 018332 (mobile)

Press releases at

Photo of Golden-crowned Manakin

More background information on Golden-crowned Manakin

Birds Australia is the Australian partner of BirdLife International

Hugo Phillipps
Communications Coordinator
Birds Australia
415 Riversdale Road
HAWTHORN EAST 3123, Australia
Tel: (03) 9882 2622, fax: (03) 9882 2677
Email: <>
Website: <>

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