Arya Dipa, Bandung – Twenty-one new species have been added to the list of bird species endemic to Indonesia as of the beginning of 2020, bringing the country's total to 1,794 bird species.
Achmad Ridha, a research and communication officer at nonprofit bird conservation organization Burung Indonesia, said that the additional species included seven newly described bird species – including the Alor myzomela (Myzomela prawiradilagae) and the spectacled flowerpecker (Dicaeum dayakorum) – as well as 14 species that were split off from previously discovered species.
The Alor myzomela was announced as a new species in Oct. 2019. The bird is endemic to Alor Island, East Nusa Tenggara, and lives in a terrain 900 to 1,270 meters above sea level.
Meanwhile, the new Latin name given to the spectacled flowerpecker honors the Dayak people of Kalimantan, who have extensive knowledge about the flora and fauna of their native regions.
Other new species include the Peleng fantail, the Peleng leaf warbler, the Taliabu bush warbler, the Taliabu myzomela and the Taliabu leaf warbler. Three of the species are endemic to Peleng Island, Central Sulawesi, while the two other species are endemic to Taliabu Island, North Maluku.
"The research to collate the list of birds in Indonesia has been ongoing since the beginning of 2019. The research was done through literature study based on the newest reference material regarding bird taxonomy," Achmad told The Jakarta Post in an email on Saturday.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) also recently updated its Red List of Threatened Species, which showed that eight Indonesian bird species had an increased risk of extinction.
The eight species are the pale-bellied myna (Acridotheres cinereus), the brown-cheeked bulbul (Alophoixus bres), the Javan leafbird (Chloropsis cochinchinensis), the Sumatran leafbird (Chloropsis media), the greater green leafbird (Chloropsis sonnerati), the blue-eared iory (Eos semilarvata), the Tanimbar megapode (Megapodius tenimberensis), and the Javan white-eye (Zosterops flavus).
"The declining population and increasing threats are related to unsustainable hunting, as well as habitat disappearance due to degradation and land function shift," Achmad said.
He said in recent years many people in Java and Bali liked to domesticate birds because of their beautiful plumage and birdsong. However, the trend has contributed to the declining population of the birds in the wild. (gis)