A new bird species has been discovered in the montane forests of Peru.
The bird, called the Junin Tapaculo (Scytalopus gettyae), was discovered by a team led by Peter Hosner of the University of Kansas during a survey in 2008. The species escaped earlier detection due to its similarity to other tapaculos, its elusive nature, and the remoteness of its habitat.
Hosner and colleagues eventually distinguished the species, which is black in color and similar to a wren, by its unique call.
“We found the Junin Tapaculo in the field by its distinctive voice,” Hosner said in a statement. “Tapaculos are extremely difficult to identify, so at this point we weren’t sure if it was a new species, or if we just happened to record a rarely given vocalization by an already described species.”
Subsequent scouring of archives and a DNA test revealed it to be a new species.
The Junin Tapaculo is found in the Department of Junin in central Peru. It occupies areas of dense vegetation in Andean cloud forests at an elevation of 8,000 and 10,500 feet.
The species is described in the August edition of the Wilson Journal of Ornithology.
Peter A. Hosner , Mark B. Robbins, Thomas Valqui, and A. Townsend Peterson. A New Species of Scytalopus Tapaculo (Aves: Passeriformes: Rhinocryptidae) from the Andes of Central Peru. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 125(2):233-242. 2013 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1676/12-055.1