A rare bird not seen for 24 years has been discovered alive in the forests of Madagascar.
The dusky tetraka, a small, ground-dwelling forest bird, was last documented in 1999. However, three individuals of the species have now been spotted, confirming that it is still alive.
The sightings of the olive-colored bird with a yellow throat were made by two teams from the charity The Peregrine Fund. The expeditions were made to forests on high mountain slopes as this is where most of the remaining wooded areas are located in Madagascar.
The first team found an individual near a stream in the Masoala peninsula using a mist net. The second team searched in the region near Andapa but was unsuccessful. After switching to searching a lower elevation, at around 800 meters above sea level, they spotted a pair of birds hopping around in the undergrowth by a stream. The team then caught the bird in a mist net and confirmed that it was indeed the right species.
Lily-Arison Rene de Roland from The Peregrine Fund believes that the confirmed sightings should help efforts to conserve the bird’s habitat. It is believed that the sound of rushing water may have drowned out its calls, which is why it hadn’t been seen for so long.