long-legged warbler resdiscovered in Fiji

Subject: long-legged warbler resdiscovered in Fiji
From: (Andrew Taylor)
Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2003 17:51:32 +1100

Long-lost bird found alive in remote part of Fiji

A bird believed to have been believed extinct for over a century has
been found alive and warbling in Fiji, a bird group said.

BirdLife Fiji researchers rediscovered the long-legged warbler
(Trichocichla rufa), last seen in 1894, and managed to photograph it
for the first time.

They also recorded its "beautiful warbling songs".

The group said in a statement they found 12 pairs of the rare bird in
Wabu Forest Reserve, near Mount Tomaniivi, which at 1,323 metres, is
the highest point on the Pacific nation's main island Viti Levu.

The long-legged warbler is descried as a "small, reddish-brown bird,
named for its long legs and preference for dense undergrowth".

Another sub-species on the island of Vanua Levu, Trichocichla rufa clunei,
was discovered in 1973 when two birds were seen, but the sub-species
has not been found again.

"The sighting gives us new hope of finding the other rare endemic birds
like the red-throated lorikeet and barred-wing rail," researcher Vilikesa
Masibalavu said.

Numbers of many of Fiji's birds have been severely reduced by mongoose,
imported by the British from India.

"The long-legged warbler is a very secretive species but now that we
know its song, we can find it and make our first assessment of its
conservation needs," Guy Dutson said, BirdLife Project Manager in Fiji.

"They appear to need dense vegetation beside mountain streams.

"We are happy to conclude that they are surviving in some remote mountain

Although currently safe at Wabu, they remain at risk from forest clearance
and mongooses.

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