First Nest Ever Discovered Of One Of The World's Most Endangered Birds

Thursday, January 17, 2013
Stresemann's Bristlefront
Stresemann's Bristlefront
- photo by Ciro Albano - NE Brazil Birding

The first known nest of one of the world's rarest birds - the Critically Endangered Stresemann's Bristlefront - has been discovered in Brazil. Of perhaps equal significance is that strong evidence of active nestlings was also found.

The Stresemann's Bristlefront is one of the world's most threatened bird species -- unrecorded for 50 years until it was rediscovered in 1995 near Una, Bahia, in Brazil's Atlantic Forest region. The world population estimate is fewer than 15 individuals. Its population is declining owing to fires, logging, and the clearance of humid valley-floor forest for cattle ranching and agriculture.

On Oct. 30, 2013, Dimas Pioli and Gustavo Malacco, two Brazilian researchers visiting Fundação Biodiversitas’ Mata do Passarinho Reserve discovered the bird’s nesting tunnel entrance, a tennis ball sized hole, located about three feet from the ground in an exposed dirt vertical edge that contained overhanging vegetation. Nesting tunnels are typical for the ground dwelling Tapaculo family, to which the Bristlefront belongs. The hole is estimated to be approximately six feet deep. It was surveyed and filmed with a micro-camera and further data should be published shortly in an ornithological journal.

“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,” said Alexandre Enout, the reserve’s manager. “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.”

American Bird Conservancy is working closely with its in-country partner Fundação Biodiversitas to protect and acquire land in and around the 1,500-acre Mata do Passarinho Reserve in northeast Brazil. This reserve protects a key fragment of Atlantic Forest which provides the environment required by the bird. About 245 bird species have been recorded in the reserve, 37 of which are endemic to Brazil. In addition to being the only know site for the Stresemann’s Bristlefront, it is a critically important site for the Endangered Banded Cotinga and the Critically Endangered yellow-breasted capuchin monkey.

The eight-inch long, medium-sized, long-tailed bird has distinctive, long, pointed forehead bristles and a slender dark bill. The female is cinnamon-brown above, with duskier tail and is a bright cinnamon-rufous below.

The Atlantic Forest is one of the most endangered forests in the world. Over 500 years ago it extended along the coast of Brazil into Paraguay and northern Argentina. Forest coverage has now been reduced to less than 10 percent of the original area due to logging and conversion to agriculture and pasture.

Despite so little forest remaining, the Atlantic Forest remains extraordinarily lush and is a treasury of biodiversity and endemic species. The forest harbors around 20,000 species of plants, with almost 450 tree species being found in just one hectare in some areas. Approximately 40 percent of its vascular plants – 52 percent of the trees -- and up 60 percent of its vertebrates, including 92 percent of amphibians are endemic species, meaning they are found nowhere else in the world. The Atlantic Forest has spectacular bird diversity, with over 930 species, about 15 percent of which are found nowhere else. Because most of the region's forests have been cleared during 500 years of exploitation, many species are now threatened with extinction and, sadly, many others have already been lost. Nearly 250 species of amphibians, birds, and mammals have become extinct due to the result of human activity in the past 400 years and more than 11,000 species of plants and animals are considered threatened in the Atlantic Forest today. 


Statewide Youth Waterfowl Hunts Set For Jan. 31 And Feb. 7

The 2015 Tennessee statewide youth waterfowl hunts are set for a pair of Saturdays on Jan. 31 and Feb. 7. The dates that appear in the annual Tennessee Wildlife Magazine calendar were listed incorrectly. Youths between six and 15 years old may participate in these two youth hunt days and bag limits are the same as during the regular waterfowl season.  F ederal regulations ... (click for more)

Tennessee State Parks Announce 2014 Park Awards

Tennessee State Parks   held its annual park awards at the 2015 Park Management meeting. Parks throughout the state were recognized and honored for their work in 2014. Awards for innovation, customer service, interpretation and resource management were given to parks in in both the eastern and western regions of the state. Recipients included: Park of the Year ... (click for more)

6,533 Apply For Chattanooga Housing Authority Voucher Program

The Chattanooga Housing Authority closed its Housing Choice Voucher Program application process Monday at 11:59 p.m. There were 6,533 applicants. CHA will randomly select 1,000 of those names on Monday, for the voucher program waiting list. Anyone who is not selected will need to apply again in the future.  The Housing Choice Voucher program is a federal government program ... (click for more)

Bradley Commissioners Concerned About Firefighters Leaving For Better-Paying Jobs

The Bradley County Commission agreed during a Monday evening work session that it will have to look into the issue of many county firefighters leaving for better-paying jobs elsewhere. The discussion came after the city's announced plan to possibly create its own separate ambulance service. In surrounding areas, firefighters can double their salary in the county, commissioners ... (click for more)

We Need The Chattanooga History Center

Having been on several of Dr. Daryl Black's walking tours, I can say that they weren't just informative, but a treat. The downtown, Fort Wood and Ninth Street of yesteryear were brought dramatically to life. We stood on the ground where Sherman had his headquarters (near the Ice Cream Show) and the corner where Bessie Smith sang as a young girl. And we also stood beneath the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Big (Un)Easy: Mardi Gras

Not since Hurricane Katrina has New Orleans had a bigger problem. When over a million visitors flood the city for the annual Mardi Gras bash over the next three weeks, there will be signs all around town and into the French Quarter that blare, “CAUTION: Walk In Large Groups. We (heart symbol) love NOPD. We Just Need More Of Them.” In other words, it appears things are quite unsettled ... (click for more)