First sighted by birders in the lowland forests of Borneo over a decade ago the Spectacled Flowerpecker has now been studied and classified as a new species. The species was studied by Chris Milensky and Jacob Saucier from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History while conducting a bird diversity survey. A specimen was captured in the groups mistnet enabling the scientists to collect a DNA sample and confirm that the bird is genetically distant from other known species of flowerpeckers. It is the first new bird species to be found in Borneo for 100 years and a reminder that there are still discoveries to be made.
A quote from Milensky is also a reminder that while there are indeed innumerable scientific discoveries to be made what enables these discoveries is intact habitat for species to exist.
“the discovery of the Spectacled Flowerpecker reflects the boundless biodiversity of the Bornean forests. “Birds are pretty well-studied compared to other organisms, so whenever you find a new bird, you realize just how little you know. Who knows how many insects and invertebrates and other things are still left to be discovered in these forests?” he says. “There are so many other organisms out there that we certainly don’t even know about, that really do require habitat preservation.”
1. Jacob R. Saucier, Christopher M. Milensky, Marcos A. Caraballo-Ortiz, Roslina Ragai, N. Faridah Dahlan, David P. Edwards. A distinctive new species of flowerpecker (Passeriformes: Dicaeidae) from Borneo. Zootaxa, 2019; 4686 (4): 451 DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4686.4.1