07/07/2006
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Tiger trap goes cuckoo

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Sumatran Ground-cuckoo (photo: Y Dinata (FFI)/M Linkie (DICE)).

A camera-trap operated by a joint Indonesian and British team of scientists surveying for tigers in a former logging concession close to Kerinci Seblat National Park in northern Sumatra, Indonesia, has photographed a Sumatran Ground-cuckoo Carpococcyx viridis, one of Asia's rarest birds. The endemic ground-cuckoo has only been recorded once previously in the last 90 years, when a bird was trapped in southern Sumatra in 1997. Prior to that, only eight specimen records existed.

"We've photographed Rhinoceros Hornbills and Great Argus before but we couldn't believe it when we photographed a Sumatran Ground-cuckoo," said Yoan Dinata, field team leader of Fauna and Flora International's Indonesia Programme.

"This exciting discovery highlights the importance of conserving formerly selectively logged concessions around national parks. Sumatra's lowland rainforests will be destroyed through illegal and unsustainable logging activities unless we protect them now." said Sukianto Lusli, Executive Director of BirdLife Indonesia.

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"Re-finding this Critically Endangered species close to Kerinci Seblat is especially exciting," said project manager Dr Matthew Linkie of the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology at the University of Kent.

"We've recently shown how critical Kerinci Seblat is for the long-term survival of Sumatran tigers A reference to a study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, but finding the Sumatran Ground-cuckoo gives me hope, because it was photographed in disturbed forest that had been left to recover near the national park," he added.

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Written by: BirdLife International