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Palu, Indonesia

Harris J.B.C.,University of Adelaide | Harris J.B.C.,Princeton University | Rasmussen P.C.,Michigan State University | Rasmussen P.C.,Bird Group | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

The Indonesian island of Sulawesi, a globally important hotspot of avian endemism, has been relatively poorly studied ornithologically, to the extent that several new bird species from the region have been described to science only recently, and others have been observed and photographed, but never before collected or named to science. One of these is a new species of Muscicapa flycatcher that has been observed on several occasions since 1997. We collected two specimens in Central Sulawesi in 2012, and based on a combination of morphological, vocal and genetic characters, we describe the new species herein, more than 15 years after the first observations. The new species is superficially similar to the highly migratory, boreal-breeding Gray-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa griseisticta, which winters in Sulawesi; however, the new species differs strongly from M. griseisticta in several morphological characters, song, and mtDNA. Based on mtDNA, the new species is only distantly related to M. griseisticta, instead being a member of the M. dauurica clade. The new species is evidently widely distributed in lowland and submontane forest throughout Sulawesi. This wide distribution coupled with the species' apparent tolerance of disturbed habitats suggests it is not currently threatened with extinction. © 2014 Harris et al. Source

Harris J.B.C.,University of Adelaide | Harris J.B.C.,Princeton University | Dwi Putra D.,Celebes Bird Club | Gregory S.D.,University of Adelaide | And 6 more authors.
Diversity and Distributions | Year: 2014

Aim: Deforestation and climate change are two of the most serious threats to tropical birds. Here, we combine fine-scale climatic and dynamic land cover models to forecast species vulnerability in rain forest habitats. Location: Sulawesi, Indonesia. Methods: We sampled bird communities on four mountains across three seasons in Lore Lindu National Park, Sulawesi, Indonesia (a globally important hotspot of avian endemism), to characterize relationships between elevation and abundance. Deforestation from 2000 to 2010 was quantified, and predictors of deforestation were identified. Future forest area was projected under two land use change scenarios - one assuming current deforestation rates and another assuming a 50% reduction in deforestation. A digital elevation model and an adiabatic lapse rate were used to create a fine-scale map of temperature in the national park. Then, the effects of climate change were projected by fitting statistical models of species abundance as a function of current temperature and forecasting future abundance based on warming from low- and high-emissions climate change. Results: The national park lost 11.8% of its forest from 2000 to 2010. Model-based projections indicate that high-elevation species (white-eared myza Myza sarasinorum and Sulawesi leaf-warbler Phylloscopus sarasinorum) might be buffered from deforestation because their ranges are isolated from human settlement, but these species may face steep population declines from climate change (by as much as 61%). The middle-elevation sulphur-bellied whistler Pachycephala sulfuriventer is predicted to undergo minor declines from climate change (8-11% reduction), while deforestation is predicted to cause larger declines of 13-19%. Main conclusions: The biological richness and rapid deforestation now occurring inside the national park emphasize the need for increased enforcement, while our modelling suggests that climate change is most threatening to high-elevation endemics. These findings are likely applicable to other highland tropical sites where deforestation is encroaching from below and climate change is stressing high-elevation species from above. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

Noske R.A.,Griffith University | Leishman A.J.,4 101 Centaur Street | Harris J.B.C.,Princeton University | Putra D.D.,Celebes Bird Club | Prawiradilaga D.M.,Indonesian Bird Banding Scheme
Kukila | Year: 2013

We present morphometric and moult data for the Sulawesiendemic Dark-eared Myza, based on 35 individuals captured at Lore Lindu National Park, Central Sulawesi, during March-April and July 2011. Four individuals banded in March were recaptured at the study site in July, suggesting that the population is probably sedentary. Like most meliphagids, although this species is not sexually dimorphic in plumage, measurements show that males are significantly heavier and have longer wings, tail and head-bill than females. Seven of the 16 adults in March-April and five of the 19 in July were moulting their primary feathers. Assuming that primary moult follows breeding, estimated laying dates for adults in the final stages of moult suggest breeding in December and early April, the latter corroborated by the presence of brood patches on two females in late March. A brood patch on a female in July further suggests that the breeding season is protracted. All birds photographed also showed distinct buff tips to most, if not all, secondary coverts and buff fringes to median coverts, a feature that appears to have gone unnoticed in the literature. Source

Yong D.L.,South east Asian Biodiversity Society | Harris J.B.C.,University of Adelaide | Harris J.B.C.,Princeton University | Rasmussen P.C.,Michigan State University | And 5 more authors.
Kukila | Year: 2012

The Satanic Nightjar Eurostopodus diabolicus, rediscovered in 1996, is a hitherto poorly known nocturnal bird endemic to Sulawesi's hill and montane forests with only two documented nest records to date. Here, we describe two further nest records from the Anaso track in Lore Lindu National Park (LLNP), Central Sulawesi, which extend the known breeding season by five months. This suggests the breeding season lasts at least seven months, from March to October. Both nests were on the ground in forest clearings with at least a partial ground cover of ferns and moss, and both contained single chicks. The nestling period was at least 31 days. Our records of vocalizing individuals at 2,300m asl extend the known upper elevation limit of the species. Apparent plumage and vocal differences between birds in North and Central Sulawesi suggest that the species is not monotypic, although further study is needed. Source

Madika B.,Celebes Bird Club | Putra D.D.,Celebes Bird Club | Harris J.B.C.,University of Adelaide | Yong D.L.,National University of Singapore | And 4 more authors.
Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club | Year: 2011

The Indonesian island of Sulawesi is a globally important hotspot of avian endemism, yet its birds are little studied and new species are still being discovered in the region. We present observations and photographs of an apparently undescribed taxon of Ninox hawk owl from 2,250 m on Gunung Rorekatimbu, Central Sulawesi. We reviewed specimens of all known South-East Asian Ninox owls and concluded that this bird's white-spotted underparts and pale supercilia are not shared by any other Ninox hawk owl in the region. Recordings attributed to it are strikingly similar to Ninox ios, but consistently have a longer inter-note interval between the paired main notes, and may be slightly lower in frequency. We believe it either represents a new subspecies of N. ios in Central Sulawesi, or it is a new species closely related to N. ios. If shown to be of species rank, we suggest the common name White-spotted Hawk Owl for it. Photographs of the unknown owl were taken in 1999 and a published photograph from 2007 likely pertains to it, but the bird's taxonomie status remains unresolved, and no specimens are known. Montane forest at the site is relatively intact and we are planning further work to address this problem. © British Ornithologists' Club 2011. Source

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