Abstract We describe a new Procellaria petrel species from the late Pliocene of Taranaki, New Zealand. The new species is most similar morphologically to the White-Chinned Petrel (P. aequinoctialis), Spectacled Petrel (P. conspicillata) and the Westland Petrel (P. westlandica). Compared with those taxa, the new species has a deeper and shorter premaxilla, longer coracoid and shorter wings, while its legs are a similar size. Today, New Zealand is the centre of global diversity of the genus, with four breeding species. This is the first fossil species of Procellaria to be described from New Zealand, attesting to a reasonably long history of this genus in the region.
Abstract The Little Chachalaca (Ortalis motmot) is a widely distributed species in the Amazon basin, typically found in riverine habitats. There are two disjunct populations: the northern O. m. motmot and the southern O. m. ruficeps (known as Chestnut-headed Chachalaca). Here we performed a vocal, morphological and plumage comparison between these two taxa. Birds present differences in tail coloration but are otherwise undiagnosable in terms of plumage. Ortalis m. ruficeps is, however, markedly smaller and lighter than O. m. motmot, with no overlap in size or weight. We also found vocal differences between O. m. motmot and O. m. ruficeps, no overlap in geographic distributions and no signs of hybridization across its range. Based on the available data, Ortalis m. ruficeps thus must be considered a valid species, endemic to Brazil.
Abstract The Belem Curassow (Crax fasciolata pinima) is one of the most endangered birds in South America, without sightings of birds in the wild for 40 years. This subspecies is nationally and internationally classified as critically endangered and close to extinction, suffering from poaching and deforestation in its range. Here we present new records of free-living individuals made on three indigenous lands in Pará and Maranhão states: in part of Terra Indígena Mãe Maria, Bom Jesus do Tocantins, Pará; in locations within the Reserva Biológica do Gurupi/Terra Indígena Alto Turiaçu, Centro Novo do Maranhão, Maranhão; and around the Terra Indígena Rio Pindaré, Alto Alegre do Pindaré, Maranhão. We also provide recommendations to protect this bird via a dedicated conservation program which includes finding new individuals in non-sampled areas (north of BR-222), estimating population size, enhancing taxonomic and natural history knowledge, capturing wild animals in order to start urgent ex situ conservation programs, and developing environmental awareness programs with the local and indigenous populations.