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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.