The black-browed babbler was recently sighted in Indonesia’s South Kalimantan province, on the island of Borneo, after being lost to science for 172 years. There is only one specimen of the species, collected sometime between 1843 and 1848. While little is known about the species, researchers are concerned that it might already be threatened with extinction. Three years ago, Panji Gusti Akbar was flipping through the pages of Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago when he came across a photo of a bird with brown wings and a black stripe across its brow, appropriately named the black-browed babbler ( Malacocincla perspicillata ). On the map beside the bird, there was a question mark, indicating that no one knew where the species lived. In fact, this bird hadn’t been sighted for the past 172 years. “I just had some sort of feeling that, ‘it must be nice to be the one who finds it,’ but just forgot about it,” Akbar, an ornithologist who works at the tourism company Birdpacker Indonesia, told Mongabay. The rediscovered black-browed babbler. Image by Muhammad Suranto and Muhammad Rizky Fauzan. Then, in October 2020, Akbar received a message from a colleague on WhatsApp with a picture of […]


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