New Bird Species Discovered in Africa

For keen wildlife watchers, well-organised professional bird tours provide the opportunity to travel to a host of exotic destinations around the world to experience sightings of rare and endemic avian species in their natural habitat. Anyone planning on joining one of the bird tours to Africa may be interested to learn of three newly documented species recently discovered in Ghana and the Republic of Congo.

Three New Species

An American research team working in Africa, headed by Dr Gary Voelker, confirmed the discovery in 2016 of three very similar birds that, while living in close proximity to each other, do not actually share any genetic similarities. Dr Voelker said the findings were particularly important and exciting because it was previously considered that Afrotropical forests were “static places where little evolutionary diversification has occurred.” The thinking that in this kind of environment birds that looked similar and existed in the same habitat were likely to be the same species is now under question, leaving the door open for potentially more new species to be discovered in the future.

Dr Voelker went even further, to say that the lack of documented diversity of avian species in the lowland forests of Africa is likely due more to a dearth of specimens than an actual absence of variation.