vrijdag 25 april 2014

Species Spotlight: Hoopoe Starling

A nice coincidence for this Species Spotlight. My previous post was about a giant extinct swan, and now another extinct species was randomly chosen. 

Introducing the Hoopoe Starling (Fregilupus varius)! It was discovered in 1699 and first described by the Dutch naturalist Pieter Boddaert in 1783. This 30-cm long bird was endemic to the Island of RĂ©union. It could be found in swamp forests and montainous coastal regions.

Illustration of the Hoopoe Starling based on a specimen from Paris

The Hoopoe Starling became extinct in the 1830s (the last specimen was shot in 1837) because of a combination of factors: the introduction of rats on the island , the introduction of another bird species (Common Myna) to combat locusts, and hunting. Apparantly it was very tasty because it fed on coffee berries. 

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