Newly described species

Index
New species of wood-wren
An international team of ornithologists has described a new species of wood-wren Henicorhina from cloud forest of the high Andes of south-western Colombia. The species was named Munchique Wood-Wren H negreti after the mountain (Cerro Munchique) where it was discovered (Salaman, P, Coopmans, P, Donegan, T M, Mulligan, M, Cort¨¦s, A, Hilty, S L & Ortega, L A 2003. A new species of Wood-Wren (Troglodytidae: Henicorhina) from the western Andes of Colombia. Ornitol Col 1: 4-20). As well as being an exciting new discovery, this species breaks new ground because it is the first new bird species to be described electronically in the first issue of the new on-line bird journal Ornitolog¨ªa Colombiana. British and Colombian ornithologists, working with the Colombian bird conservation organization Fundaci¨®n ProAves, discovered the new species during surveys on Cerro Munchique in Colombia's western Andean range. They found that wood-wrens in Munchique National Park had a distinctive flute-like song, quite different from that of other similar looking wood-wrens found elsewhere in South America, as well as distinctive plumage features and biometrics. The new species is found only in difficult-to-access forest typified by perpetual cloud in the highest elevations of the Munchique massif. Stephen Hilty, author of the Field guide to the birds of Colombia (1986), first noted the distinct vocalizations of these wood-wrens in 1978 and heard the birds again in the early 1980s. In the early 1990's, Paul Coopmans noticed the peculiar song during his studies in the area. It then took another 10 years to finally solve the wood-wren puzzle of Munchique. The new wood-wren is specialized to living in densely saturated forest typified by persistent low-level cloud above 2250 m on the pacific slope of Cerro Munchique. The widespread Grey-breasted Wood-Wren H leucophrys - which occurs in coastal mountains from Mexico down to Bolivia - replaces Munchique Wood-Wren in less densely saturated forest below 2250 m on the pacific slope (subspecies H l brunneiceps) and also on the much dryer eastern slope of the massif (subspecies H l leucophrys). Two other species of wood-wren are known: Bar-winged Wood-Wren H leucoptera was first described in 1977 and occurs very locally in northern Peru, whereas White-breasted Wood-Wren H leucosticta is widespread in most parts of northern South America.
Munchique Wood-Wren is confined to the highest elevations of just one mountain and, as its population and geographical range are extremely small, is proposed for the 'Critically Endangered' status. Due to its highly specific ecological requirements, it is potentially threatened by ecological changes and by illegal deforestation, which continues to occur within Munchique National Park. Fundaci¨®n ProAves has recently entered into an agreement with Colombia's Environment Ministry to improve management and protection of the habitat of the newly discovered species.
The species' scientific name honours Alavaro Jos¨¦ Negret (1949-98), one of Colombia's leading naturalists and ornithologists. He was a professor at Cauca University in Popay¨¢n, Colombia, and later became director of the Natural History Museum of Cauca University (MHNUC).
The International Code for Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) specifies that descriptions of new species must be made in 'published work', which does not include publications on the worldwide web (www). The description of Munchique Wood-Wren has been published in an electronic on-line journal. However, Ornitolog¨ªa Colombiana has an ISBN number, meaning that a hard copy of it is printed and sent to copyright libraries. The journal can also be printed out by others and therefore meets the requirements set by the ICZN. This is the first time that a new species for science has been published electronically and in accordance with the ICZN rules. For more information on the Asociaci¨®n Colombiana de Ornitolog¨ªa (ACO) and its journal Ornitolog¨ªa Colombiana, see http://www.dutchbirding.nl/journal/www.ornitologiacolombiana.org; the complete article can be viewed under 'Revista'.
ENNO B EBELS

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New species of pygmy owl
Although new bird species are regularly described from various parts of the globe, South America apparently holds most hidden ornithological treasures. Another example of this is the description of a new species of pygmy owl, Pernambuco Pygmy Owl Glaucidium mooreorum (da Silva, J M C, Coelho, G & Gonzaga, L P 2002. Discovered on the brink of extinction: a new species of Pygmy-Owl (Strigidae: Glaucidium) from Atlantic Forest of northeastern Brazil. Ararajuba 10: 123-130). Its description was based on two study skins collected in Pernambuco, north-eastern Brazil. The skins were originally collected in 1980 and at the time thought to represent (a subspecies of) Least Pygmy Owl G minutissimum or Amazonian Pygmy Owl G hardyi, both from south-eastern Brazil. The vocalizations were first recorded in 1980 by Galileu Coelho, who did not realize that the owl that produced the calls was a distinct species. Only in 2000, Jos?Maria Cardoso da Silva came across a stored specimen in a bird collection, compared it with similar species and concluded that it was new to science. After comparing the bird's song with those of closely related species, Luiz Pedreira Gonzaga supported Cardoso da Silva's hypothesis. In November 2001, the owl - then not yet identified as a new species - was observed and videoed in the wild for the first time. It is closely related to Least and Amazonian but differs in plumage colouration, shape and vocalizations (a sound-recording is posted on the internet: www.owlpages.com/species/glaucidium/mooreorum/Default.htm). It is the third new pygmy owl to be described for South America witin a decade, after Subtropical Pygmy Owl G parkeri in 1995 and Cloud-forest Pygmy Owl G nubicola in 1999.

The new species is known from only two localities in Pernambuco and should be listed as 'critically endangered'. Its entire range is estimated to cover less than 100 km2. The Atlantic Forest biodiversity hotspot in which it occurs is one of the most threatened in the world. The Pernambuco Center is biologically diverse even by Atlantic Forest standards, with 39 endemic bird species and subspecies and the largest number of threatened bird species in Brazil - 18 including Pernambuco Pygmy Owl and Alagoas Curassow Mitu mitu, a species now labeled 'extinct in the wild'. Only 1907 km2 (5%) is left of 39 567 km2 of original forest. The remaining forest is fragmented in more than 1400 parcels, most of which are less than 100 hectares and surrounded by agricultural and urban development.

The name mooreorum was chosen in honour of Gordon Moore, founder of the Intel company, and his wife Betty Moore, who have made significant contributions to conservation. In 2001, the Moore Foundation gave Conservation International 261 million USD in a series of grants over 10 years to implement a major global strategy for biodiversity conservation.
Enno B Ebels

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New species of seedeater
Blue seedeaters Amaurospiza are rare and little-known finches from Central and South America; two or three species have so far been recognized: Blue Seedeater A concolor (including Slate-blue Seedeater A (c) relicta) and Blackish-blue Seedeater A moesta. A new species has recently been described, Carrizal Blue-black Seedeater (or Carrizal Seedeater) A carrizalensis, named after the tiny islet where it was discovered (Lentino, M & Restall, R 2003. A new species of Amaurospiza blue seedeater from Venezuela. Auk 120: 600-606). Only three birds were found on Isla Carrizal in eastern Venezuela (07:54 N, 63:04 W) and it is unknown what size the population may be. The discovery was a surprise to the researchers, because the Caroni river area in the Orinoco basin has been relatively well-covered by surveys in the past and because no other Amaurospiza species have been recorded from Venezuela before. The reason the finch had not been discovered until now is probably because its habitat is impenetrable spiny bamboo vegetation and because Carrizal is an uninhabited islet in the middle of the Caroni river.

From examination of the three birds collected, Carrizal Blue-black Seedeater was identified as a separate species on basis of its larger bill compared with other finches and because of small differences in plumage. The male is dull greyish-blue, while the female is brownish. The blue seedeater group had never before been found in Venezuela - and northern South America - and the geographically closest member of the group, Blue Seedeater, lives on the other side of the Andes in Colombia and Ecuador. The new seedeater was only discovered because a Venezuelan electricity company, EDELCA, had commissioned a survey to assess local wildlife before commencing work on a dam across the nearby Caura river. Carrizal Island, as EDELCA property, was already scheduled for deforestation for development of the Tocoma Dam, part of a major hydro-electric project along the length of the Caroni river. Part of the reason for the survey was to see what could be done to compensate for the loss of spiny bamboo caused by razing the island, and, at that time, Carrizal Blue-black Seedeater had not been identified as a new species. As a result, the island was cleared before its ornithological importance was fully recognized. New surveys for the finch will now be undertaken in the vicinity where the same bamboo is also found.
Enno B Ebels

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New species of forest-falcon
Forest-falcons Micrastur are small Accipiter-like raptors occurring in tropical forest in most of South America. Until recently, six species were recognized. Four species are widespread and common, whereas two have more restricted ranges and are considered rare. Forest-falcons are vocal but very secretive and hard to observe. Therefore, populations have often been underestimated and for most taxa, little is known about breeding and behaviour. With this in mind, it may not come as a big surprise that studies by Andrew Whittaker revealed the existence of a hitherto undescribed species, Cryptic Forest-falcon M mintoni, inhabiting the rainforests of Brazil and adjacent north-eastern Bolivia (Whittaker, A 2002. A new species of forest-falcon (Falconidae: Micrastur) from southeastern Amazonia and the Atlantic rainforests of Brazil. Wilson Bull 114: 421-445).
The initial detection of the cryptic new taxon was triggered by its distinctive voice, first heard and recorded by the author on 28 October 1997 at Caxiuan? Pan? Brazil; this voice is notably different from any of its congeners. The bird responded to play-back of its own voice and was noted to differ in several aspects from other forest-falcons. Several specimens of the new taxon were subsequently located in museums; because the new species closely resembles Lined Forest-Falcon M gilvicollis, these specimens had remained unrecognized for more than a century. The new taxon not only has a vocal repertoire that differs from those of its congeners, Lined Forest-Falcon, Plumbeous Forest-Falcon M plumbeus and Barred Forest-Falcon M ruficollis, but also exhibits subtle yet consistent morphological distinctions - especially in the pattern of head, underparts and tail - that distinguish it from all other forest-falcons. There are also differences in biometrics. The species inhabits humid terra firme forest in south-eastern Amazonia, and a disjunct population exists in the Atlantic rainforests of eastern Brazil (the latter known only from historic specimens) and merits great conservation concern.
The species has been named after Clive D T Minton, friend and birding mentor of the author. The English and Portuguese name (Falcão Cryptico) refer to the fact that this taxon has remained undetected for so long, despite specimens being present in several collections and despite the fact that it is not uncommon within its now known range.
Enno B Ebels

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New species of parrot
The parrot genus Pionopsitta is considered to comprise of seven (or eight by some authors) species which have an allopatric distribution in Central and South America. Three species occur in the Amazon basin and one of these, Vulturine Parrot P vulturina, is (in adult plumage) characterized by a black bare facial skin (covered by black bristles) extending up to the central crown. Until recently, birds with an orange and completely bare head occurring in the same area were considered immatures of Vulturine Parrot, but it appears that these birds in fact represent a separate species which has now formally been described as Pionopsitta aurantiocephala (Gaban-Lima, R, Raposo, M A & Höfling, E 2002. Description of a new species of Pionopsitta (Aves: Psittacidae) endemic to Brazil. Auk 119: 815-819).
The new species, for which the vernacular name Bald Parrot was proposed elsewhere, is characterized by the completely bare orange head. While studying series of skins and recently collected specimens, the authors discovered that the youngest immature stages of Vulturine Parrot have green-and-yellow head-feathers and that with the loss of these feathers the black bare skin appears; an immature stage with a bare head which is not black simply does not exist. Hence, the assumption that the orange-headed birds were immature Vulturine Parrot is no longer valid. Not unimportantly, it was also found that some of the recently collected orange-headed birds had well-developed gonads and therefore must have been adults.
P aurantiocephala is now known from a few localities along tributaries of the lower Madeira and upper Tapajós rivers. It occurs probably sympatric with Vulturine Parrot on both sides of the lower and middle Tapajós river. Although part of this area economically benefits from ecotourism, other parts of the Tapajós river system (as well as the entire southern border of Amazonia) are constantly threatened by destructive logging activities.
Andr?J van Loon

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More Amazonian parakeets
The vast Amazonian region still holds many unravelled ornithological mysteries and detailed research into any complex group is likely to reveal revised taxonomic affinities or even as yet undescribed taxa, such as the newly described Bald Parrot Pionopsitta aurantiocephala (see above). The Psittacidae prove to be a rewarding subject in this respect, as is shown by a recently published paper about Amazonian Pyrrhura parakeets (Joseph, L 2002. Geographical variation, taxonomy and distribution of some Amazonian Pyrrhura parakeets. Ornitologia Neotropical 13: 337-363; an electronic appendix of colour images supplementing the paper can be found on the Internet at www.acnatsci.org/publication/appendix4.html). In this paper, Leo Joseph substantiates that Painted Parakeet (or Painted Conure) P picta, belonging to the group of 25-30 Neotropical Pyrrhura parakeets and hitherto treated as a single polytypic species, is actually better considered as consisting of six different species. Two of these have not been described before. The author examined 231 specimens from various collections and obtained general data on an additional 110 specimens, divided over seven geographical groupings. Each specimen was scored for seven morphological characters, as well as for morphometric statistics. On basis of these examinations, the specimens grouped into five forms next to P picta (sensu stricto), with each form best treated as a separate species. The status of a sixth form is ambiguous and, awaiting genetic analysis, is left to debate. The author indicates that treating the five forms '?as subspecies of P picta under the Biological Species Concept perpetuates blind adherence to the arrangement Peters (1937) introduced with no justification?. Instead, Joseph advocates that P picta and Red-crowned Parakeet P roseifrons should be treated as two species by all modern species concepts, even if gene flow from P picta is suggested in some specimens. The other four groups could possibly be treated as subspecies of P roseifrons (rather than P picta) but given their disjunct distribution, there is no hard case to consider them one and the same species. In fact, Joseph reverses the burden of proof ('species until proven subspecies'), preferring to treat diagnosable allopatric forms as species rather than subspecies until there is falsifiable evidence that forms could and would interbreed when they might come into contact. Therefore, he proposes to treat every group as a distinct species, based on consistent but often subtle plumage differences. Joseph acknowledges that, with further knowledge, two or more groups may prove to be so closely related that a rearrangement as subspecies under one species could be justified but states that this speculation should not stand in the way of a revised current taxonomic treatment. In his words: 'Far from setting taxonomy back 100 years as some critics of this approach argue, interim use of a binominal nomenclature does precisely what a taxonomy should do: summarize present understanding of relationships in the group in question'. Since other taxa in Pyrrhura have been diagnosed by one or a few subtly varying characters, Joseph considers it justified (or even inevitable) that weakly but consistently differentiated forms are also recognized as species since this treatment accords with previous taxonomic treatment of the genus.

As a result of Joseph's research, in addition to Painted Parakeet (P picta sensu stricto) from northern Brazil, the Guianas and southern Venezuela, and Red-crowned Parakeet from two disjunct populations in western Amazonia, four more species are proposed. Two of them were described before and are now provisionally upgraded to species level: Deville's Parakeet P lucianii, known only from Tef?on the Rio Solimões and the Rio Purús in Brazil, and Hellmayr's Parakeet P amazonum from eastern and south-eastern Amazonia. Two taxa are new to science and first described in this paper: Madeira Parakeet P snethlageae from the drainage of the Rio Madeira in Bolivia and Brazil, and Wavy-breasted Parakeet P peruviana, known from two separate populations in Amazonian Peru. Because of this disjunct distribution, further taxonomic subdivision of P peruviana may be warranted after closer study of both populations. The name P snethlageae honours Emilia Snethlage, who first recognized the distinctiveness of this form in 1914. The scientific name of P peruviana acknowledges the fact that this taxon occurs only in Peru; the vernacular name refers to the extensive subterminal bands on the feathers of the throat and breast. The main plumage differences separating the six taxa are related to the absence or presence and extent of bright red in the plumage, the extent of blue on the forehead and the absence or presence of broad subterminal bands on the throat and breast. Joseph advocates further study of the group, indicating that his revised taxonomic basis in this paper is developed as a platform for full systematic study. In this respect, he emphasizes the need for freshly collected, well-labelled specimens from all the populations under study.
Enno B Ebels

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New species of hawk-owl
Since the late 1980s, it was known that an unknown species of owl existed on Sumba, Lesser Sundas, Indonesia. Most observers that reported observations considered it to be a scops owl Otus; others even argued that the observations referred to a misidentified endemic Sumba Boobook Ninox rudolfi (a hawk-owl species). On 20 December 2001, Jerry Olsen and Susan Trost observed, photographed, tape-recorded and videoed three pairs of the owl along a road west of Waingapu, and on 30 December 2001 a specimen was shot by a local hunter c 4 km from the same location and shown to JO. Subsequent analysis of the cytochrome-b gene revealed unequivocally that the specimen was a Ninox species. Recently, it was described as Little Sumba Hawk-owl Ninox sumbaensis (Olsen, J, Wink, M, Sauer-Gürth, H & Trost, S 2002. A new Ninox owl from Sumba, Indonesia. Emu 102: 223-231). There was no overlap in body length and body mass between this specimen and other Ninox owls of the region and the call was a monosyllabic hoot repeated every three seconds, unlike the repeated cluck-cluck-cluck call of Sumba Boobook or the disyllabic calls made by most hawk-owls. The conservation status of this new species remains uncertain but the authors argue that it might be threatened.
Andr?J van Loon

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A seventh species of Certhia treecreeper
On 30 May 2000, at the top of the table mountain plateau Wa Shan, Sichuan, China (29:38 N, 102:57 E), Marten Olsen and Yue-Hua Sun observed a treecreeper Certhia which immediately struck them as distinctive in size, plumage coloration and song. The bird was collected. Studies of skins and literature showed that this treecreeper belonged to a taxon that was described in 1995 as a subspecies of Eurasian Treecreeper, C familiaris tianquanensis (Li, G-Y 1995. A new subspecies of Certhia familiaris (Passeriformes: Certhiidae). Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica 20: 373-377. [In Chinese; English summary.]). Study of morphology, vocalizations and the cytochrome-b gene of the specimen collected on 30 May 2000 confirmed that this taxon should be considered as a separate species: Sichuan Treecreeper C tianquanensis (Martens, J, Eck, S & Sun, Y-H 2002. Certhia tianquanensis Li, a treecreeper with relict distribution in Sichuan, China. J Ornithol 143: 440-456). The species appears to be more closely related to Brown-throated Treecreeper C discolor than to Eurasian Treecreeper. It is differentiated by a long wing and tail, an extremely short bill and smoky-brown underparts, gradually becoming paler from the upper belly and breast towards the white throat and chin; the genetic difference of the specimen with Brown-throated Treecreeper was 8.8%, indicating that the taxon has been separated for a long time; and the voice is strikingly different from all six other Certhia species. The species probably occupies a very restricted range and has until now only been found at four localites in western Sichuan.
Andr?J van Loon

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Two Three-toed Woodpeckers
New research on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of Three-toed Woodpeckers Picoides tridactylus has suggested that it actually consists of two species (Zink, R M, Rohwer, S, Drovetski, S, Blackwell-Rago, R C & Farrell, S L 2002. Holarctic phylogeography and species limits of Three-toed Woodpeckers. Condor 104: 167-170). The analysis is based on 29 Three-toed Woodpeckers from 12 sites in Eurasia and North America. The study included five subspecies: P t tridactylus, P t crissoleucus and P t albidior from Eurasia and P t fasciatus and P t bacatus from North America. The results show that woodpeckers from Eurasia and North America form separate (monophyletic) groups. These groups differ genetically by about 4%, indicating that the two populations of Three-toed Woodpeckers have been separated for a long period. Robert Zink and his co-workers recommend formal taxonomic action and suggest that North American Three-toed Woodpeckers be separated as Picoides dorsalis. The new - and rather lengthy - vernacular names following this split become Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker and American Three-toed Woodpecker, respectively. Within Eurasia, sequences were very similar and did not show geographic structure. The authors point out that this lack of structure across a large area points to a recent range expansion, perhaps following reforestation after the last ice age.
George Sangster

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New species of pipit
A recent study of the evolutionary relationships between pipits suggested the existence of a previously undescribed species (Voelker, G 1999. Molecular evolutionary relationships in the avian genus Anthus (pipits: Motacillidae). Mol Phylogen Evol 11: 84-94). DNA evidence indicated that a freshly-collected specimen from Kimberley, South Africa, which was originally identified as a Long-billed Pipit Anthus similis, is more closely related to Malindi Pipit A melindae than to Long-billed Pipit. Subsequent comparisons of the specimen revealed several differences with Long-billed and other pipits, including Malindi Pipit. Now, after several years of field work, the pipit is named Kimberley Pipit Anthus pseudosimilis (Liversidge, R & Voelker, G 2002. The Kimberley Pipit: a new African species. Bull Br Ornithol Club 122: 93-109). Kimberley Pipit differs from the sympatric Buffy Pipit A vaalensis and Plain-backed Pipit A leucophrys in having a streaked back and breast. It differs from African Pipit A cinnamomeus in having darker brown streaks on the back, a more extensive breastband with generally heavier streaking, and by its larger size. Although difficult to differentiate from Long-billed Pipit, it differs by a different wing formula and primary emargination, a shorter bill, a longer hind-claw, a more distinct cream supercilium, rufous ear-coverts and black malar stripe; it also differs from Long-billed Pipit in habitat, behaviour and breeding biology. Compared with Kimberley Pipit, Malindi Pipit of coastal Kenya has heavier streaking on the back, a thinner malar stripe and streaking on the belly and flanks. Kimberley Pipit is now known from 17 specimens and several confirmed sight records, all from the interior of South Africa and south-western Namibia. Where it occurs, Kimberley Pipit is fairly common and appears to be sedentary, although some winter movements may occur.
George Sangster

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New species of antbird (cf Dutch Birding 24: 189, 2002)
Explorations of certain sandy soil habitats in the drainages of the Ríos Tigre and Corrientes in north-eastern Peru have yielded four previously undescribed bird species. Two of these, Ancient Antwren Herpsilochmus gentryi and Mishana Tyrannulet Zimmerius villarejoi have already been named (cf Dutch Birding 20: 142-143, 1998; 24: 71-72, 2002). A third new species, Allpahuayo Antbird Percnostola arenarum, was recently added (Isler, M L, Alvarez Alonso, J, Isler, P R & Whitney, B M 2002. A new species of Percnostola antbird (Passeriformes: Thamnophilidae) from Amazonian Peru, and an analysis of species limits within Percnostola rufifrons. Wilson Bull 113: 164-176). (Please note that although the paper was published in the 'June 2001' issue of Wilson Bulletin, this issue was actually published in February 2002.) The new antbird is probably most closely related to Black-headed Antbird P rufifrons. Seven morphological differences, three vocal and two behavioural characteristics distinguish Allpahuayo Antbird from Black-headed Antbird. As with many other antbirds, the morphological differences are more pronounced in females than in males. Although present data suggest that the Río Napo separates the ranges of Allpahuayo and Black-headed Antbird, this requires substantiation. The authors conclude that Allpahuayo Antbird 'may occupy one of the most specialized habitat niches in the smallest geographic range of any thamnophilid antbird' (although they point out that the recently described Marsh Antbird Stymphalornis acutirostris of south-eastern Brazil may be another candidate for this distinction).
George Sangster

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New species in 2001 (cf Dutch Birding 24: 70, 2001)
In 2001, several new bird species have been formally described in various ornithological journals. Five of these (Gunnison Sage Grouse Centrocercus minimus, Scarlet-banded Barbet Capito wallacei, Foothill Elaenia Myiopagis ollalai, Caatinga Antwren Herpsilochmus sellowi and Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush Garrulax konkakinhensis) have been given attention in the previous volume of Dutch Birding (see Dutch Birding 23: 61, 172, 2001). Here, the remaining new species are shortly reviewed (one still from 2000), with the exception of Mekong Wagtail Motacilla samveasnae which is treated separately above.
During an expedition at sea in the South Pacific in 1927 (!), six petrel Pterodroma specimens were collected which were originally labelled as Juan Fernandez Petrel P externa and later (1976) considered to belong to an unknown, smaller form of White-necked Petrel P cervicalis. In 1983, another bird was found on the shores of New South Wales, Australia. These specimens have now been described as a new species, Vanuatu Petrel Pterodroma occulta (Imber, M J & Tennyson, A J D 2001. A new petrel species (Procellariidae) from the south-west Pacific. Emu 101: 123-127). The new species appears to be closely related to White-necked Petrel but is smaller, with a longer tail and entirely grey exposed primaries from below. It presumably breeds in the Banks Islands or elsewhere in northern Vanuatu but no breeding sites are known (yet). The name occulta refers to the taxon remaining unidentified for so long, as well as to the yet undiscovered breeding grounds.
Specimens of woodcock Scolopax collected (one) or ringed (four) in the 1960s at Dalton Pass, Nueva Vizcaya Province, Luzon, Philippines, had always been considered to be Eurasian Woodcock S rusticola which was believed to be the only woodcock species in the Philippines. In 1993, woodcocks were observed and heard displaying on Mount Kitanglad, Bukidnon Province, Mindanao, Philippines, which were definitely not Eurasian Woodcock. After the collection of another specimen from the latter location in 1995, it was realized that all these birds (including the Dalton Pass specimens) represent a new species which was named Bukidnon Woodcock Scolopax bukidnonensis (Kennedy, R S, Fisher, T H, Harrap, S C B, Diesmos, A C & Manamtam, A S 2001. A new species of woodcock (Aves: Scolopacidae) from the Philippines and a re-evaluation of other Asian/Papuasian woodcock. Forktail 17: 1-12). In this paper, morphology as well as display, vocalizations, habits and breeding behaviour are dealt with and compared with other Asian/Papuasian Scolopax taxa. Bukidnon Woodcock appears to be locally common above 900 m in the mountains where it has been found. These mountain forests are relatively inaccessible and seem to have little attraction for cultivation or commercial tree logging. Therefore, the species is not considered to be immediately threatened. Interestingly, Eurasian Woodcock still remains on the list of Philippine birds based on published reports of two old specimens (1929 and 1931) collected in Philippine lowlands and deposited in the National Museum of the Philippines which, however, cannot be studied anymore because they were destroyed during World War II. There are no recent records of Eurasian Woodcock.
A new species of piha (Cotingidae) was described from the Colombian Andes: Chestnut-capped Piha Lipaugus weberi (Cuervo, A M, Salaman, P G W, Donegan, T M & Ochoa, J M 2001. A new species of piha (Cotingidae: Lipaugus) from the Cordillera Central of Colombia. Ibis 143: 353-368). It appears to be related to Dusky Piha L fuscocinereus but differs by, for example, its much smaller size, a distinctive chestnut cap and unique vocalizations. It occurs in a narrow belt of very humid premontane forests (1500-1820 m), which makes the new species immediately vulnerable to deforestation and habitat fragmentation.
In the family of tyrants and tyrannulets (Tyrannidae), three new species have been described. Chapada Flycatcher Suiriri islerorum was described from the cerrado region of Brazil and adjacent eastern Bolivia (Zimmer, K J, Whittaker, A & Oren, D C 2001. A cryptic new species of flycatcher (Tyrannidae: Suiriri) from the cerrado region of central South America. Auk 118: 56-78). It appears close to Campo Suiriri S suiriri affinis but it has clearly different vocalizations and unique wing-lifting displays. The authors present a lengthy comparison of morphology and vocalizations of the Suiriri taxa. Interestingly, they already refer to an equally elaborate study of the complex published in the next issue of The Auk (Hayes, F E 2001. Geographic variation, hybridization, and the leapfrog pattern of evolution in the Suiriri Flycatcher (Suiriri suiriri) complex. Auk 118: 457-471). A new tyrannulet, Mishana Tyrannulet Zimmerius villarejoi was described from Amazonian 'white sand forests' in northern Peru (Alonso, J A & Whitney, B M 2001. A new Zimmerius tyrannulet (Aves: Tyrannidae) from white sand forests of northern Amazonian Peru. Wilson Bull 113: 1-9). It is probably most closely related to Red-billed Tyrannulet Z cinereicapillus, which is however much larger. It differs from all other small tyrannids by its distinctly structured vocalizations. In 1999, the Zona Reservada Allpahuayo-Mishana was created in an effort to safeguard the largest concentration of these vulnerable white sand habitats in the amazon region of Peru. However, despite this official protection, tree felling poses a continuing threat and it is feared that much of the known population of Mishana Tyrannulet is at risk. A new tody-tyrant, Lulu's Tody-tyrant Poecilotriccus luluae was described from the north-eastern Andes in Peru (Johnson, N K & Jones, R E 2001. A new species of tody-tyrant (Tyrannidae: Poecilotriccus) from northern Peru. Auk 118: 334-341). It occurs in an isolated population in mountain forests (1829-2200 m) of the Cordillera de Colán, Amazonas, Peru. It appears closely related to the allopatric Rufous-crowned Tody-tyrant P ruficeps peruvianus, from which it is distributionally separated by the North Peruvian Low.
Finally, Beijing Flycatcher Ficedula beijingnica was described from Beijing, China (Zheng, G, Song, J, Zhang, Z, Zhang, Y, & Guo, D 2000. A new species of flycatcher (Ficedula) from China (Aves: Passeriformes: Muscicapidae). Journ Beijing Normal Univ (Nat Sci) 36: 405-409). Its appearance is close to Narcissus Flycatcher F narcissina elisae but it is reported to differ especially in song.
ANDR?J VAN LOON

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New species of wagtail (cf Dutch Birding 24: 70, 2001)
A new species of 'black-and-white' wagtail Motacilla was recently described by an international team of ornithologists. The species appeared to have been first collected in December 1972 in Ubon Ratchani province in south-eastern Thailand. The two birds collected, however, went into the books as belonging to the subspecies M alba alboides of White Wagtail, a mistake that was copied many times thereafter and that led to confusion surrounding many 'White Wagtail'-records in southern Indochina. It took almost 30 years before this error was realized and the true status of these birds became known (Duckworth, J W, Alström, P, Davidson, P, Evans, T D, Poole, C M, Tan, S & Timmins, R J 2001. A new species of wagtail from the lower Mekong basin. Bull Br Ornithol Cl 121: 152-182). In February 2001, five of the authors visited several rivers in Stung Treng province, north-eastern Cambodia, and observed over 100 individuals (adults and second-year birds) of the mysterious wagtail. During the survey in February 2001, eight birds were trapped and measured and several birds were videoed, photographed and/or sound-recorded (calls and two song-types). The eight trapped birds were collected; the holotype and seven paratypes were deposited at the Natural History Museum (BMNH) at Tring, England. Juveniles were studied and photographed by one of the authors in April 2001 in Kratie province, Cambodia. The publication gives detailed descriptions of plumages, sexing, ageing, moult, vocalizations, habitat, breeding and behaviour, distribution, conservation and comparison with related species; it includes several photographs of live birds as well as the specimens. Based on all these aspects, the authors firmly substantiated that the studied wagtails present a hitherto undescribed species and named it Mekong Wagtail M samveasnae, in honour of the young Cambodian ornithologist Sam Veasna who died on 3 December 1999. The new species most closely resembles African Pied Wagtail M aguimp and also shares characters with White-browed M maderaspatenis and Japanese Wagtail M grandis; all four share a largely black head and back with a prominent white supercilium. Evidence is presented why the new taxon should be considered a species of its own and not a subspecies of African Pied Wagtail or one of the other species. The species occurs along the Mekong river and its tributaries in Cambodia and Laos. Apart from the 1972 record, the species has not yet been recorded again in Thailand but could well occur there. Mekong Wagtail does not seem to be under direct threat and numbers are considered to be 'healthy' in Cambodia. However, the many proposed projects for the construction of dams in the lower Mekong area could conceivably quickly alter the fate for existing populations. Moreover, since the area of its known world range is extremely small (and, within this range, it is confined to river banks), the species may best be considered 'near-threatened' following the IUCN (1994) red list criteria for threatened species. This status could change to 'vulnerable' if a dam project in a key stretch of river within the breeding range is developed.
ENNO B EBELS
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New species of sage grouse (cf Dutch Birding 23: 172, 2001)
In the late 1970s, wings of Sage Grouse Centrocercus urophasianus from the Gunnison Basin, Colorado, USA, were noted to be smaller than wings obtained elsewhere in Colorado. Subsequent studies have shown that the Gunnison population also differs from other Sage Grouse in biometrics, courtship display and plumage. Recent studies of both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA revealed additional differences. The scientists who discovered these differences have proposed that the Gunnison population represents a new species: Gunnison Sage Grouse Centrocercus minimus (Young, J R, Braun C E, Oyler-Chance, S J, Hupp, J W & Quinn, T W 2000. A new species of sage-grouse (Phasianidae: Centrocercus) from southwestern Colorado. Wilson Bull 112: 445-453). The species is limited to just eight isolated populations in south-western Colorado and San Juan County, Utah. The total estimated spring breeding population is fewer than 5000 individuals. Some populations of Gunnison Sage Grouse are very small and several former populations are known to have become extirpated since 1980, so special conservation measures are clearly warranted to ensure its continued survival.
George Sangster
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New species of antwren (cf Dutch Birding 23: 172, 2001)
Antbirds are a prominent part of the South American fauna but many species are poorly known and even new species are regularly discovered. During the 1980s, two new species of antwren were discovered in north-eastern Brazil. Further field work in this region and detailed museum studies have revealed a third new species which was recently named as Caatinga Antwren Herpsilochmus sellowi (Whitney, B M, Pacheco, J F, Buzzetti, D R C & Parrini, R 2000. Systematic revision and biogeography of the Herpsilochmus pileatus complex, with description of a new species from northeastern Brazil. Auk 117: 869-891). The new species was previously confused with Bahia Antwren H pileatus, but these species are now known to be different in several structural, plumage and vocal characteristics. Caatinga Antwren occurs patchily in caatinga woodland in several states in north-eastern Brazil. The 'true' Bahia Antwren is confined to southern coastal Bahia where it is restricted to a narrow band of restinga woodland and coastal forest. Both species are considered to be rare or vulnerable. Another Brazilian endemic, Black-capped Antwren H atricapillus, consists of two morphs which show weak differences in plumage and vocal characters. The authors suggest that these forms may be in the process of speciation but hesitate to describe one morph as a new form.
George Sangster
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New species of laughingthrush (cf Dutch Birding 22: 172, 2000)
After the description of Golden-winged Laughingthrush Garrulax ngoclinhensis from the Western (= Central) Highlands of Vietnam (cf Dutch Birding 21: 128, 1999), Jonathan Eames and his colleagues recently described yet another new laughingthrush from the Central Highlands: Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush G konkakinhensis, named after its type locality, Mount Kon Ka Kinh, Gia Lai province, Vietnam (Eames, J C & Eames, C 2001. A new species of Laughingthrush (Passeriformes: Garrulacinae) from the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Bull BOC 121: 10-23). This new species appears to belong to a species group together with Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush G rufogularis (and two other species). Although the new species resembles the western subspecies of rufogularis, it shows several unique plumage features warranting its separation as a species. It occurs from 1600 m to the top of Mount Kon Ka Kinh at 1748 m. Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush is currently only known from Mount Kon Ka Kinh but it seems likely to occur also in the adjacent province of Kon Tum and, since its habitat (primary upper montane evergreen forests) at this particular altitudinal range also extends across the border, it may also be found in Laos. The three sites where the holotype and paratypes have been collected are included in the recently established Mount Kon Ka Kinh Nature Reserve so it seems that the future of this population can be secured.
Andr¨¦ J van Loon

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New species of flycatcher (cf Dutch Birding 23: 61, 2001)
In June 1992, a flycatcher was observed and tape-recorded at an elevation of 1000 m in south-eastern Ecuador which could not be assigned to any known species. Later that year, a pair was collected. After comparison of the vocalizations and the study of skins, Paul Coopmans and Niels Krabbe were convinced that they had found a new species. Additional specimens were collected in 1996 in north-eastern Ecuador and a specimen from Peru was identified in the collection of the American Museum of Natural History. The new species has now been formally described as Foothill Elaenia Myiopagis olallai (Coopmans, P & Krabbe, N 2000. A new species of flycatcher (Tyrannidae: Myiopagis) from eastern Ecuador and eastern Peru. Wilson Bull 112: 305-312). M olallai closely resembles Grey Elaenia M caniceps and Forest Elaenia M gaimardii, but it is well differentiated vocally.
Foothill Elaenia is now known to occur in the foothills of the Andes (890-1500 m): in two national parks in Ecuador (three sites on the slope of the Sumaco volcano in north-eastern Ecuador, and one location near Zamora, south-eastern Ecuador; type locality) and from one location near Luisiana, Peru. Presumably, it also occurs locally in the region between these areas. However, forests at elevations where the species occurs are disappearing at an alarming rate.
Andr¨¦ J van Loon

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New species of barbet (cf Dutch Birding 23: 61, 2001)
In July 1996, during an expedition of the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science, an unnamed isolated Andes peak (1538 m) was reached, c 77 km west-north-west of Contamana, Loreto, eastern Peru (c 7:05 S, 75:39 W). During the survey of the surrounding cloud forest, the expedition members collected several specimens of a barbet which they immediately expected to be new to science. Recently, this new barbet has been formally described as Scarlet-banded Barbet Capito wallacei (O'Neill, J P, Lane, D F, Kratter, A W, Capparella, A P & Fox Joo, C 2000. A striking new species of barbet (Capitoninae: Capito) from the eastern Andes of Peru. Auk 117: 569-577). Apart from the descriptions of the collected birds, the paper also documents vocalizations and various aspects of the biology based on photographs, tape-recordings and field observations. Also, plumages and vocalizations are extensively compared with those of other Neotropical barbets and discussed in relation to existing phylogenetic studies on the Capitoninae. C wallacei belongs to a group of largely black-and-white plumaged birds, also containing Orange-fronted C squamatus, Spot-crowned C maculicoronatus and White-mantled Barbets C hypoleucus.
The most remarkable aspect of this new barbet is that it appears to be the only Capito species restricted to montane cloud forest, whilst the other species of the genus are widely distributed in the lowland forests of northern South America. Scarlet-banded Barbet is presently only known from the isolated peak of the type locality (so-called 'peak 1538') but it is expected to occur also in cloud forests on other isolated peaks of the same mountain ridge system. The prospects for the protection of the area seem to be promising.
Andr¨¦ J van Loon

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New species of bush-warbler (cf Dutch Birding 22: 249, 2000)
A species of bush-warbler Bradypterus has been known to occur in the mountains of Taiwan for a long time. After its discovery in 1917, it was considered to belong to several Asian bush-warbler species by various authors, but only recently it was realized that the Taiwan population represents a separate species. It has now been formally described as Taiwan Bush-Warbler B alishanensis (Rasmussen, P C, Round, P D, Dickinson, E C & Rozendaal, F G 2000. A new bush-warbler (Sylviidae, Bradypterus) from Taiwan. Auk 117: 279-289). A colour painting by Ian Lewington of the new species and some of its congeners features on the cover of this issue of The Auk.
The new species differs from other bush-warblers especially by its distinct song, both sounding clearly different and showing a different structure in sonagrams. Furthermore, there are slight but consistent differences in bill structure, plumage coloration and wing formula. The name alishanensis is derived from the A-li Shan, the mountain where the first specimens were collected in 1917. Taiwan Bush-Warbler appears to be a relatively common breeding bird between 1200 and 3000 m, occurring in various, also disturbed, habitat types in at least two major mountain areas. It is, therefore, not considered threatened. The number of endemic bird species on Taiwan now stands at 15.
Andr¨¦ J van Loon

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Another newly described species of golden-spectacled warbler (cf Dutch Birding 22: 60, 2000)
In a recent paper in Ibis, Per Alström and Urban Olsson presented evidence that Golden-spectacled Warbler Seicercus burkii actually represents a complex of five species, of which one was described as a new species (cf Dutch Birding 21: 303, 1999). Another study of the taxonomy of this group, which was published at roughly the same time, independently arrives at the conclusion that 'Golden-spectacled Warbler' represents a complex of species but recognizes no less than seven species (Martens, J, Eck, S, Päckert, M & Sun, Y-H 1999. The Golden-spectacled Warbler Seicercus burkii - a species swarm (Aves: Passeriformes: Sylviidae) Part 1. Zool Abhandl Staatl Mus Tierk Dresden 50: 281-327). The study focuses on areas where several forms co-exist and is based on analyses of morphology, vocalizations, altitudinal distribution and molecular phylogenetics. Although the two papers do not refer to each other (both groups were probably unaware of the other group's conclusions), they agree on several points. Both studies recognize three altitudinally segregated species on Emei Shan, Sichuan, China, and agree on their altitudinal distribution. The occurrence of three species on Emei Shan is also supported by a molecular phylogenetic analysis. In both papers, the high-elevation species is called S valentini (both papers did not propose English names for these species). However, the two teams disagree on the proper scientific names of the other two species and each team has even described a new species from Emei Shan. Martens and co-workers described the population inhabiting middle-elevations as a new species: Seicercus omeiensis; this population was recognized as S tephrocephalus by Alström and Olsson. In turn, Alström and Olsson described the low-elevation form as a new species: Seicercus soror, whereas Martens and co-workers apply the name S latouchei to this population. The discrepancy between the two papers is due to different interpretations of the correct designation of existing names to populations. Hopefully, the members of both teams will combine their knowledge and insight and resolve the discrepancies in the near future. In the meantime, birders and field ornithologists will have to live with the fact that 'Golden-spectacled Warbler' consists of several morphologically and vocally distinct species for which scientific names are uncertain.

George Sangster

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