A critically endangered crow has re-emerged on a remote, mountainous Indonesian island thanks, discovered by a team of scientists of the Michigan State University. Many believed that Banggai Crow as extinct for a long time until Indonesian biologists finally secured two new specimens on Peleng Island in 2007.
Rasmussen, A southern asian ornithologist studied the two century-old specimens known as Corvus unicolor in New York’s American Museum of Natural History. She compared the specimens with those collected from Indonesia to lay to rest speculation that they were merely a subspecies of a different crow. The more common Slender-billed Crow, or Corvus enca, also is found in the Banggai Islands, and likewise is all black.
“The morphometric analysis I did shows that all four unicolor specimens are very similar to each other, and distinctly different from enca specimens. We also showed that the two taxa differ in eye color — an important feature in Corvus,” Rasmussen said. “Not only did this confirm the identity of the new specimens but also the specific distinctness of Corvus unicolor, which has long been in doubt.”
Indonesian ornithologists are turning their efforts toward protecting the rare species, which is hunted by local residents. That includes making recommendations for protection of its forest habitat through sustainable agriculture methods and, perhaps, eco-tourism, to address the residents’ livelihood needs.
Source : Michigan State University