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Striking, color illustration of new parrot and mouse. Both these animals are endemic (found only there) to Camiguin Island in the Philippines. The growing realization that this tiny island...


Photo of new parrot. This newly described Camiguin Hanging-parrot is only found on the Philippine island of Camiguin. The tiny island is especially rich in biological diversity but increasingly...


Detective work

The two new species were discovered as the result of recent and earlier field studies.
The parrot is a Hanging-parrot, or Colasisi, with bright green feathers covering most of the body. The throat and thighs are bright blue, and the top of the head and tail are brilliant scarlet-orange. Males and females have identical plumage, which is quite unusual in this group of parrots.

The description is based on previously unstudied specimens in The Field Museum and the Delaware Museum of Natural History collected in the 1960's by D. S. Rabor. The name for the new species is Loriculus camiguinensis, or Camiguin Hanging-parrot.

"This description is based on a series of specimens that had been part of The Field Museum's collections for almost 40 years, so our work highlights the value of collecting and preserving scientific specimens, because you may not initially realize the significance of specimens," said John Bates, Curator of Birds and Chair of Zoology at The Field Museum, and a co-author of one of the Fieldiana reports. "If we did not have a series of specimens from Camiguin and additional series of Hanging-parrots from other Philippine Islands, we probably would have assumed that the single bird that prompted our investigation was just odd looking, and we would not have been able to recognize it as distinctive."

One of L. camiguinensis' characteristics that was key to identifying it as a new species is the fact that its plumage is relatively dull compared to other Philippine Hanging-parrots. This is consistent with the documented tendency for some isolated bird populations to lose bright plumage, the authors note.

Because L. camiguinensis has not been recognized as a separate species, little is known about its habits, and it has been overlooked in terms of conservation. The discovery has spurred interest in the field studies needed to establish the population size and requirements as a prerequisite for conservation planning and action.

After learning about the Fieldiana manuscript, Thomas Arndt, a German parrot enthusiast, made a trip to Camiguin to look for these birds. He photographed the parrots and is preparing a publication about his findings.

The new mammal is a Philippine forest mouse, now identified as Apomys camiguinensis. It has large ears and eyes, a long tail and rusty-brown fur, and it feeds mostly on insects and seeds. The description is based on mice captured on Camiguin during a biological survey Heaney and Tabaranza conducted in 1994 and 1995, high on the steep slopes of one of the island's volcanoes.

Local people had not previously known of the mouse, though they have known of the parrot because of its value in the pet trade.

In 2002, Heaney, Tabaranza, and Eric Rickart, of the Utah Museum of Natural History, described a different species of forest-living rodent, Bullimus gamay, from Mt. Timpoong, the same mountain where the new mouse was collected. A frog (Oreophryne nana) named in 1967 had been thought to be the only vertebrate restricted to the island prior to the surveys by Heaney and Tabaranza.

"Very few states in the United States, and few countries in Europe, have four endemic species of vertebrates, making it clear why tiny Camiguin Island is deserving of international attention," Heaney said. "And it is almost certain that other organisms on Camiguin are also endemic; they just have not been studied yet."

文章翻译:

一群美国生物学家在南部的一座热带雨林,发现了新品种和老鼠,但这些专家也警告,它们正因环境恶化及森林砍伐而面临生存的危机。

芝加哥菲尔德自然历史博物馆于四月五日发行的生物期刊《Fieldiana》中说,美国生物学家在民答那峨行政区北端的加米干岛,发现了从未被生物学物种记载的羽色鲜艳以及长尾森林鼠。这两种生物是美国生物学家较早前抵菲研究时所发现,其中被命名为“加米干悬吊”,森林鼠则被称为“加米干离鼠”。

询问日报”引述期刊说,这种鹦鹉由于具有商业价值,因此对加米干岛原住民来讲并不陌生,它的身体羽毛呈绿色,喉部及腿部是鲜蓝色,而头部及尾部则是艳红色。报导指出,加米干悬吊鹦鹉的样本早于六十年代就被送到菲尔德自然历史博物馆,但迄今才被认真的研究,雌雄两性的羽色几乎完全相似,这是它比较特别的地方。

加米干离鼠由一九九四年至一九九五年间前往岛上研究的菲律宾及美国生物学家在一处陡峭的山坡上发现,这在当时是连原住民都不曾见过的品种,它的双目和耳朵都很大,靠吃昆虫和种子果腹。

加米干岛是一座火山岛,面积仅二百六十五平方公里,但却有至少五十四种鸟类及二十四种哺乳动物生存其中,而且有很多是当地仅有的品种。然而,岛上森林滥伐的情况已经引起专家及环保人士的关注,据了解,二零零一年时几乎百分之百被森林完全覆盖的加米干岛,到目前只剩下约百分之十八。菲律宾有七千多个岛屿,许多岛屿人迹罕至,因此生物资源相当丰富,去年,菲律宾植物学家也在民答那峨岛的康波斯蒂拉谷省,发现了新品种的巨花。