January 17, 2013
On October 30, 2012, Brazilian researchers Dimas Pioli and Gustavo Malacco discovered a nesting tunnel in Fundação Biodiversitas’ Mata do Passarinho Reserve. After analysis they concluded the six-foot-deep nest belongs to Stresemann's Bristlefront, a critically endangered ground bird whose global population is thought to number less than 15 individuals. The species has suffered from extensive destruction of its habitat, Brazil's Mata Atlântica forest ecosystem, for cattle pasture, farms, urban areas, and sugar cane plantations.
Stresemann's Bristlefront by Ciro Albano of NE Brazil Birding.
“This is the discovery of a lifetime made all the more gratifying by the fact that not only have we found live adult birds, but we have also found strong evidence of several chicks as well,” he said in a statement. “It is urgent that we protect more of the natural Atlantic Forest in this area and reforest areas where forest has been lost. The best way to save this species is by increasing its potential habitat.”
The Mata Atlântica or Atlantic Forest is a tropical forest ecosystem that once extended from coastal Brazil to northern Argentina. While more then 90 percent of it has been cleared over the past 500 years, surviving patches contain extremely high levels of biodiversity, including 930 species of birds, 20,000 types of plants, and hundreds of species of reptiles and amphibians. Up to 450 tree species have been documented in a single hectare of Atlantic Forest.