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Roze Spreeuw

Even geduld...

New species of liocichla

On 12 January 1995, Ramana Athreya briefly saw a pair of unfamiliar liocichlas Liocichla at Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Almost 10 years later, on 3 January 2005 and at the same location, he saw a flock of six birds and, later that day, again four birds at almost the same site; on 4 January 2005 again six birds were seen. From field sketches, they were provisionally identified as Emei Shan Liocichla L omeiensis, although the nearest known site of that species is at Emei Shan, Sichuan, China, 1000 km to the east. Efforts to trap the birds in 2005 failed. In 2006, the efforts were continued. On 9 April 2006, the song of the liocichla could be tape-recorded. Finally, on 21 and 25 May 2006, two birds were mistnetted. The first, probably a female, escaped after only a few photographs were taken. Fortunately, a second, probably a male, was trapped. This one was photographed extensively and a detailed description of its plumage was made. It was very different in plumage from sympatric Red-faced Liocichla L phoenicea. Although the plumage was similar to that of Emei Shan Liocichla, several differences could be noted. Based on these differences, its larger size and the distinctive vocalizations, this bird was recently described as a new species, Bugun Liocichla Liocichla bugunorum (Athreya, R 2006. A new species of Liocichla (Aves: Timaliidae) from Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Indian Birds 2: 82-94). After describing and photographing the bird trapped on 25 May 2006, it was released. This bird was designated as the holotype. Some tail-feathers, a secondary and the photographs have been deposited in the Bombay Natural History Society Museum at Mumbai (Bombay), India. The main reason for not collecting a full specimen was that this would have affected one of only three known breeding pairs at the type locality.
The species is named after the local Bugun tribe. This community participated and played a crucial role in the Eaglenest Biodiversity Project. ANDRÉ J VAN LOON