Today’s Solutions: May 28, 2023

Calling all birdwatchers! Conservationists and scientists are requesting the help of the world’s birdwatchers to help them find 10 species of birds that seemed to have disappeared off the face of the earth.

The initiative was launched last week as a collaborative effort between Re:wild, American Bird Conservancy (ABC), and Birdlife International. The Search for Lost Birds, as it’s called, is an offshoot of Re:Wild’s Search for Lost Species effort, which since 2017, has resulted in the discovery of eight of its top 25 most wanted species. The aim is to find the 10 species of birds that haven’t been seen in the wild for at least a decade but have not yet been classified as extinct by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The point is not just to prove that these missing birds still exist, but also to support conservation efforts.

“If we can find these lost birds, conservationists can better protect them from the threats they face,” declared Barney Long, senior director for conservation strategies for Re:wild.

“By working with partners and collaborators from around the world, the Search for Lost Birds hopes to engage the knowledge and expertise of the global birdwatching community to solve these conservation challenges,” the director of threatened species outreach at ABC, John C. Mittermeier, said in a statement. “By directly reporting sightings and information through eBird, birdwatchers, and citizen scientists from anywhere in the world can help us find and learn more about these lost species.”

What is eBird?

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has created eBird, an important tool that allows citizen scientists (and specifically birdwatchers in this case) to document their sightings. As of now there are over 700,000 registered users who have reported more than one billion bird sightings, none of which include the 10 elusive birds on the list.

The 10 most wanted birds list

Dusky tetraka, last documented in 1999 in Madagascar

South Island kōkako, last seen in 2007 in New Zealand

Jerdon’s courser, last seen in 2009 in India

Itwombwe nightjar (or Prigogine’s nightjar), last seen in 1955 in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Cuban kite, last seen in 2010 in Cuba

Negros fruit-dove, last seen in 1953 in the Philippines

Santa Marta sabrewing, last seen in 2010 in Colombia

Vilcabamba brush-finch, last seen in 1968 in Peru

Himalayan quail, last seen 1877 in India

Siau scops-owl, last seen in 1866 in Indonesia

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