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Scientists Discover New Species of Bird, named Zoothera salimalii
A group of scientists led by Dr Per Alström of Uppsala University has described a new species of bird from the northeastern India and adjacent parts of China. They named the new species as Zoothera salimalii. The scientific name honors the great Indian ornithologist Sálim Ali, in recognition of his contributions to the development of Indian ornithology and nature conservation. The proposed English name is the Himalayan forest thrush. The discovery process for the Himalayan forest thrush began in 2009 when it was realized that what was considered one species, the plain-backed thrush (Zoothera mollissima), was in fact two different species, said team member Dr. Pamela Rasmussen, of Michigan State University
What first caught scientists’ attention was the plain-backed thrush in the coniferous and mixed forest had a rather musical song, whereas individuals found in the same area – on bare rocky ground above the treeline – had a much harsher, unmusical song.It was realized that the two different song types from plain-backed thrushes that they first heard in northeast India in 2009, and which were associated with different habitats at different elevations, were given by two different species. Follow-up investigations involving museum collections revealed differences in plumage and structure between birds that could be assigned to either of these two species. Research describing the Himalayan forest thrush will be published online in the journal Avian Research.