Antpitta: The Reserve

music
ambience: Antipitta vocalizations

Several years ago a new and rare species of bird was discovered in Ecuador. And with the discovery came the challenge of protecting the bird’s habitat. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. We’re listening to the sounds of a new species Antpitta, discovered in the highlands of Ecuador by ornithologist Robert Ridgely. He’s with the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences.

“The Antpitta is quite a large species of ground dwelling ant bird. It’s got very long stilt legs. They’re blue-gray in color – and a very short tail, so it can either run very fast, or hop. It actually hops kangaroo like at times – and it’s about ten inches long. So it’s about the same length as a robin, but the body size is much bigger.”

At present, there are only about thirty of the new species of Antpitta known to exist, and they’re found in just one region in the mountain forests of southern Ecuador.

“The forest is what we call mountain cloud forest. During much of the year the area is enveloped in cloud, at least part of the day. As a result, it’s exceedingly wet. The forest is just dripping wet. There’s a great deal of moss on all the branches. There’s a very dense understory of bamboo and shrubby growth, such that it’s virtually impossible to move. So it’s a young, dynamic forest, but a very, very rich one. Rich in, not only in birds, but a variety of frogs and a few larger mammals as well.”

With the support of the Ecuadorian government and local residents, a new reserve has recently been created to protect the habitat of this rare bird. It’s hoped that in the future, the reserve will be opened to ecotourism.

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

music

Antpitta: The Reserve

A rare species of bird is protected in its forest habitat, high in the mountains of southern Ecuador.
Air Date:03/03/2006
Scientist:
Transcript:

music
ambience: Antipitta vocalizations

Several years ago a new and rare species of bird was discovered in Ecuador. And with the discovery came the challenge of protecting the bird's habitat. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. We're listening to the sounds of a new species Antpitta, discovered in the highlands of Ecuador by ornithologist Robert Ridgely. He's with the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences.

"The Antpitta is quite a large species of ground dwelling ant bird. It's got very long stilt legs. They're blue-gray in color - and a very short tail, so it can either run very fast, or hop. It actually hops kangaroo like at times - and it's about ten inches long. So it's about the same length as a robin, but the body size is much bigger."

At present, there are only about thirty of the new species of Antpitta known to exist, and they're found in just one region in the mountain forests of southern Ecuador.

"The forest is what we call mountain cloud forest. During much of the year the area is enveloped in cloud, at least part of the day. As a result, it's exceedingly wet. The forest is just dripping wet. There's a great deal of moss on all the branches. There's a very dense understory of bamboo and shrubby growth, such that it's virtually impossible to move. So it's a young, dynamic forest, but a very, very rich one. Rich in, not only in birds, but a variety of frogs and a few larger mammals as well."

With the support of the Ecuadorian government and local residents, a new reserve has recently been created to protect the habitat of this rare bird. It's hoped that in the future, the reserve will be opened to ecotourism.

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.

music