Lost Animals of Yesterday and Tomorrow

via New Report: 122 Species of Colombian Birds Facing Extinction.

I first read this in Spanish (don’t ask me how!) , but here’s an English translation.   In essence, 6% of Colombia’s birds are facing extinction (time frame not listed) with 10 species facing it within the next decade (pictured).   There is a specific region, that due to agriculture, is under more intense pressure.  Go ahead and read about it through the link below.

What struck me the most through the article and afterwards was, in some cases, how little is known about these birds.  For instance, the Blue-bearded Helmetcrest has not been seen since 1974.  Is it already gone? Declining rapidly?  Not actually found in the habitat in which it had been reported? Thriving elsewhere undiscovered?

10 most imperiled birds of Colombia.  Some of these have been seen in the wild a handful of times, or not for the last 50 years. Image credits: 1 - John Gould; 2 - HBW; 3,4,6,7 - Pixark; 5, 8-10 Arkive.

10 most imperiled birds of Colombia. Some of these have been seen in the wild a handful of times, or not for the last 50 years. Image credits: 1 – John Gould; 2 – HBW; 3,4,6,7 – Pixark; 5, 8-10 Arkive.

1. Blue-bearded Helmetcrest (Oxypogon cyanolaemus) – Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
2. Sinu Parakeet (Pyrrhura subandina) – Cordoba
3. Santa Marta Sabrewing (Campylopterus phainopeplus) – Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
4. Antioquia Brush-finch (Atlapetes blancae) – Central Antioquia
5. Gorgeted Puffleg (Eriocnemis isabellae) – Algeria, Cauca
6. Perija Thistletail (Asthenes perijana) – Serrania del Perija
7. Santa Marta Wren (Troglodytes monticola) – Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
8. Chestnut-capped Piha (Lipaugus weberi) – Northeastern Antioquia
9. Colorful Puffleg (Eriocnemis mirabilis) – Munchique, Cauca
10. Urrao Antpitta (Grallaria fenwickorum) – Northwestern Antioquia

For Christmas one of my many wonderful gifts was a copy of Lost Animals by Errol Fuller.  I read the preface last night in which the author discusses the poor quality of photos reproduced in the book.  Lost Animals is a collection of tales relating to extinct animals. It features photographs and stories, inspired by a previous work of the author’s. The author goes on to explain the quality of these images: large, bulky equipment, needing perfect conditions, the chemical requirements to develop photos, not to mention you have no idea about the quality of the shot until you get back to your (photography) lab!  In today’s age where it’s remarkably easy to throw a point-and-shoot in one’s pocket or digiscope, to verify quality instantly, it’s an important reminder of how far the field of photography has come.  The other important takeaway from the preface was so often the photographer had no idea how important the photo would be later: it’s easy enough to recognize this is a First Moment, but not a Last Moment.

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2 thoughts on “Lost Animals of Yesterday and Tomorrow

  1. Pingback: Birding News #95 (Holiday Edition) | Prairie Birder

  2. Pingback: Same Old Goals | birdworthy

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