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    Back to life!

    NewsRare Birds NewsMonday 26 September 2011
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    New Zealand storm petrel, a tiny, enigmatic seabird that was considered extinct for more than 150 years was rediscovered by the birdwatchers Ian Saville and Brent Stephenson, near the Mercury Islands in the Hauraki Gulf.
    That sighting was in January 2003. Since then the birds, in flocks of up to 40, have been seen every summer in the gulf. But there has been confusion in the scientific community as to how and where the bird survived, and whether it is in fact a separate species, or just a more common species of storm petrel, with odd colouring.
     
    But Bruce Robertson of the University of Otago has just matched DNA from birds caught and released in the gulf, to tissue fragments from three museum specimens in England and France and this confirmed that the birds in the gulf are the same as those last seen in the 1800s, and that the New Zealand storm petrel is a distinct species.
     
    Source: Sunday Star Times


     

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