Navigation Links
New bird to science emphasizes the critical need to conserve the remaining dry forests of Madagascar
Date:2/23/2011

In a recent issue of the scientific journal Zootaxa, researchers from Madagascar and the United States described a new species of forest-dwelling rail. The new bird was named Mentocrex beankaensis, with the genus Mentocrex being endemic to Madagascar and the new species beankaensis being coined after the type locality, the Beanka Forest in western central Madagascar. This species was distinguished from another in the same genus, known from the eastern portion of the island, based on aspects of size, plumage, and DNA.

The project resulting in this description was the joint efforts of scientists from the University of Antananarivo and Association Vahatra in Madagascar and the Pritzker Laboratory for Molecular Systematics and Evolution at The Field Museum in Chicago. Marie Jeanne Raherilalao and Steve Goodman conducted the morphological portion of the study, and the molecular genetics aspects by Nicholas Block, a graduate student with the University of Chicago's Committee on Evolutionary Biology who is based at The Field Museum.

The dry forests of western Madagascar have been drastically reduced in size. Estimates proposed by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) indicate that 97 percent of the original forest cover in this portion of the island has disappeared since humans arrived some 2,500 years ago. Over the past decades these remaining dry forest areas have been the sites of numerous discoveries of plant and animal species new to science. The Beanka Forest is a largely intact area resting on exposed limestone formation with razor-sharp pinnacle like structures, which are known in Malagasy, the language of Madagascar, as tsingy.

The Beanka Forest in a remote portion of the island is managed since late 2007 by the Association Biodiversity Conservation Madagascar (BCM) and funded by Bioculture (Mauritius) Ltd., which has started programs for the socio-economic development of surrounding communities, forest restoration, and the conservation of the site. The director of BCM, Mr. Aldus Andriamamonjy, notes, "We [BCM] have taken an approach to the conservation of the Beanka Forest resting on working in unison with local people to fulfill aspects of their economic and development needs and bestowing a sense of natural patrimony of the organisms that live in their forest. These are aspects critical for any long-term successful project. The discovery of this new species of bird and other organisms during the late 2009 expedition underlines the importance of our mission and the uniqueness of the Beanka Forest."

In late October to early November 2009, the Association Vahatra, in collaboration with BCM and several other research groups working on the flora and fauna of Madagascar, organized a large-scale biotic inventory of the Beanka Forest, a zone of about 14,000 hectares. This is the period when a specimen of the new rail was obtained and that led to the naming of this new species. Several new species of plants, invertebrates and vertebrates were discovered and Mentocrex beankaensis is the first of a series from the expedition to be named. Dr. Marie Jeanne Raherilalao, Professor at the University of Antananarivo and Association Vahatra, mentioned, "that even after many decades of research, nature is always full of surprises, even for organisms such as birds that have been intensively studied. The recent rediscovery in the northern portion of the island of the Madagascar Pochard, a species that was thought to be extinct and the discovery of this new species of rail, are cases in point. This underlies the importance of field research and biotic inventories".


'/>"/>

Contact: Nancy O'Shea
noshea@fieldmuseum.org
312-665-7103
Field Museum
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Penn presents inaugural symposium on applied mathematics and computational science
2. UW science photo takes second in national contest
3. Global science community to gather in Mozambique
4. 8 National Medals of Science awardees to be honored at gala, then the White House
5. A major prize in the chemical sciences announced by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation
6. BioScience tip sheet, October 2008
7. National Science Foundation grants Clemson professors award to develop nanoprobes
8. National Science Foundation grant expands UMCES oyster research
9. Mandate for biofuels production requires science-based policy and global perspective
10. US Senate confirms Clemson University engineering Dean Esin Gulari to National Science Board
11. The Science Coalitions 10 questions for the presidential debate
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/25/2016)... , Jan. 25, 2016   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: ... at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, New York ... (CBP) identify imposters attempting to enter the United ... belong to them. pilot testing of the system ... at three terminals at JFK during January 2016. --> ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... January 22, 2016 ... addition of the  "Global Behavioral Biometric ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/4lmf2s/global_behavioral ) has ... Behavioral Biometric Market 2016-2020"  report to ... and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/4lmf2s/global_behavioral ) has announced ...
(Date:1/21/2016)... 2016 --> ... research report "Emotion Detection and Recognition Market by Technology (Bio-Sensors, ... Expression, Voice Recognition and Others), Services, Application Areas, ... 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global Emotion Detection ... 22.65 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... 2016 Sinovac Biotech Ltd. ("Sinovac" or the ... biopharmaceutical products in China , today ... directors received on February 4, 2016 a preliminary non-binding ... comprised of PKU V-Ming ( Shanghai ) ... Qianhai Development ( Shenzhen ) Fund Management ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... Feb. 3, 2016   ViaCyte, Inc ., ... first pluripotent stem cell-derived islet replacement therapy for ... development, today announced that ViaCyte and Janssen Biotech, ... Johnson & Johnson, have agreed to consolidate the ... The agreement provides ViaCyte with an exclusive license ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... 3, 2016 Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology, ... developing bioengineered organ implants for life-threatening conditions of ... CEO Jim McGorry , will present at ... on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 at 8:00 am ... . HART,s presentation will be webcast live and ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... ... 03, 2016 , ... StarNet Communications Corp, ( http://www.starnet.com/ ) ... addition of a powerful “Session Preview” feature to its FastX remote Linux visualization ... remote Linux desktop or other applications (sessions) they have running on a remote ...
Breaking Biology Technology: