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Newfound Galapagos Bird Species Already Went Extinct


Photo: Copyright Alvaro Jaramillo

TRAVEL LEISURE magazine readers think these islands should be on your bucket list. A newly discovered species of brilliant red songbird has almost certainly already vanished from its home in the Galápagos Islands, in what is the first known songbird extinction on the island chain in modern times.

Using genetic techniques, researchers recently learned that the Galápagos vermilion flycatcher was once at least two species: Pyrocephalus nanus, which is still found across most of the island chain, and Pyrocephalus dubius, which hasn't been seen since 1987 but used to live only on San Cristóbal Island. That island lends the extinct bird its common name, the San Cristóbal Island vermilion flycatcher.

Unfortunately, P. nanus, still known as the Galápagos vermilion flycatcher, is now also in decline, said study researcher Jack Dumbacher, the curator of ornithology and mammalogy at the California Academy of Sciences (Cal Academy) in San Francisco.

Flycatcher Gone: Photos of an Extinct Galápagos Native

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