Friday, February 20, 2009

Tastes Like Chicken

From National Geographic:

A rare quail from the Philippines was photographed for the first time before being sold as food at a poultry market, experts say.

Found only on the island of Luzon, Worcester's buttonquail was known solely through drawings based on dated museum specimens collected several decades ago.

This is the best thing that has ever happened to this bird species.

Not only is it clearly not extinct, but it is rare bird that will now get protection and put into a captive breeding program as well.

God bless the klieg lights of publicity.

1 comment:

Mark Churchill said...

Lots of wonderfully obscure birds in the Philippines. The food-market discovery (certainly not the first, and probably not the last) reminds me of a story: A friend of mine who has done field work in the Philippines was once tasked with collecting specimens of a recently-discovered, not-yet-formally-described wetlands denizen—a rail, if memory serves. His team found the bird, collected a specimen, prepared a study skin and also, being hungry graduate students, breasted the bird and had it for dinner. Upon returning to the States, they learned that the ornithologist who was working on the formal description had decided the new skin was of higher quality than the one he had been using, and based his formal description upon it, making it the official type specimen. As my friend recalled with amusement, "I actually ate the holotype!"