Extremely rare 'Species X' rediscovered in Brazil after 75 year disappearance

BirdLife Partners – Americas

By Shaun Hurrell, 23 May 2016 

These are the first ever photos of the Critically Endangered Blue-eyed Ground-dove © Rafael Bessa
These are the first ever photos of the Critically Endangered Blue-eyed Ground-dove © Rafael Bessa

The blue eyes of an extremely rare bird hadn’t been seen for nearly a century. In one of the most extraordinary stories in Brazilian conservation, a group of researchers have announced the comeback of the Blue-eyed Ground-dove. Last documented in 1941, it was believed extinct. But now the species has been found at top-secret locations in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. However researchers can only confirm sightings of 12 individuals, so securing its habitat will be the key to conserving this elusive bird.

Imagine the buzz in the crowd last weekend at the Brazilian Birdwatching Festival when ornithologist Rafael Bessa unveiled his rediscovery. The highly-anticipated talk was named ‘Species X’ and for the first time in history, this bird’s song was played to the public. Previously known from a handful of stuffed and ageing museum specimens and some more recent unsubstantiated reports, Bessa brought the Blue-eyed Ground Dove Columbina cyanopis back to life. Read more.