The five new species discovered in Madeira and Azores

 The 5 bird species that Darwin couldn’t discover in Madeira and the Azores

FECYT – Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology



IMAGE: The five new species discovered in Madeira and Azores. From left to right: R. carvaoensis, R. adolfocaesaris, R. montivagorum, R. lowei, R. “minutus “…. view more

Credit: José Antonio Peñas (Sinc)

When Charles Darwin visited the Azores islands in the 19th Century, the birds he observed were familiar to him. However, if he had travelled there 500 years before, he would have found an ornithofauna as particular as that of the Galápagos. The recent discovery in these islands and in Madeira of five extinct species of rail, which lost the ability to fly due to having evolved on islands, confirms how fragile they are in the face of changes to their habitat like the ones that must have occurred after the first visits by humans over 500 years ago. Read more.