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Updated February 22nd, 2024 at 19:22 IST

Viral Photo: First Photo Taken Of "Lost" Bird Species | Check

The bird species has not been sighted for two decades, and up until now, it has never been captured on camera.

Reported by: Navya Dubey
 Yellow-Crested Helmetshrike
Lost bird species in the jungles of the Democratic Republic of the Congo | Image:Instagram
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Researchers from the University of Texas at El Paso have accomplished a significant milestone by capturing the first-ever photograph of a "lost" bird species. This extraordinary achievement came after an extensive six-week expedition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The team successfully located the yellow-crested helmetshrike, a bird that had not been seen in almost two decades. 

Under the leadership of Dr. Michael Harvey, an ornithologist and assistant professor at UTEP's Department of Biological Sciences, the researchers embarked on a challenging journey spanning over 120 kilometers through the dense jungles.  

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“It was a mind-blowing experience to come across these birds. We knew they might be possible here, but I was not prepared for how spectacular and unique they would appear in life,” said Michael Harvey, PhD, an ornithologist and UTEP assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. 

Describing the encounter as "mind-blowing," Dr. Harvey expressed his astonishment at the stunning appearance and unique characteristics of the helmetshrike. 

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In addition to the remarkable sighting of the yellow-crested helmetshrike, the expedition also led to the rediscovery of the red-bellied squeaker frog, a species not seen since the 1950s. However, amidst the excitement of these re-discoveries, concerns have been raised about the future of these species, as their habitats face increasing threats from agricultural expansion and mining activities. 

With this groundbreaking achievement, the researchers have not only shed light on the beauty and diversity of our planet's wildlife but also highlighted the critical importance of preserving these precious species for future generations to enjoy. 

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“Right now is a golden opportunity to protect these tropical forests, so that we don’t lose species like the helmetshrike before they are known and studied,” concluded Harvey. 

 

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Published February 22nd, 2024 at 19:22 IST

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