BirdLife: The Magazine Jan-Mar 2018 - Page 40

THE RED LIST Are we close to solving the puzzle of the Bogotá Sunangel Heliangelus zusii? Photo HBW 4 Even when evidence is available that should help resolve a conundrum, sleuths do not always see eye-to-eye. Bogotá Sunangel Heliangelus zusii is known only from a skin purchased by a priest in a Colombian market in 1909 – without hint of where it was caught. The hummingbird was part of the massive, early-20th century feather trade that serviced the sartorial desires of European and North American fashionistas. It has never been seen in the flesh. The sunangel’s centenary was celebrated by DNA analysis supporting its identity as a valid species. But this is undermined, says Stuart Butchart (BirdLife International’s Chief Scientist), by “tantalising new molecular evidence in the pipeline” arguing that the hummingbird is indeed a hybrid, its mother probably a Long-tailed Sylph Aglaiocercus kingii. If it is confirmed that ‘Bogotá Sunangel’ is not a valid taxon, it is likely that BirdLife International will no longer recognise it as a species. In relation to ornithologists involved in previously suggesting it was a valid species, Butchart argues: “If this new evidence survives the test of peer-review, it illustrates the need for adequate sampling of potential relatives when carrying out genetic analyses.” From a conservation perspective, this may be a relief. “With no clue as to where in the Andes this hummingbird came from, it was impossible to know what threats it faced and what actions were needed”, says Butchart. The same is true for Hooded Seedeater, or “one of the great enigmas of South American ornitholog t)͍ɥɝѥɹѡ)9ɕф!Օ)ٽѕѡ́她Ѽ)ɕ͍ٕȁѡɐݸ䁙ɽ)́ɔѕɵ)ѡЁЁ݅́Ёم̸)ɑ䰁͕مѥ͔́)ɕѥЁ܁Ѽ͕ٔи((Q́́ѡݽɱ)ٕȁ͕ѡѕɥ)9ͅȁ9ѩȸ)AѼIȁMɐ)ɝՅ)ɕ͍ٕɥ)Ёɐٕ́)ɔمՅ)ѡ͍ٕɥ)܁)ٕȁ́Ʌɔݡ)́ɔɽɱɕ͍ٕɕIȁMɐ)ɕչՅM̵ݰ=́)ѡ ɽ́%ͱ̰ձ䁅ѕȁ)݅́Ё͕䁅ɹѡиMՉ͕Օ)ɕ͕ɍ՝́Ё́́Ʌɔѡɕѡ(܁I1Ёєݹ́ЁѼɕ)5ݡхYՕSɄ)фɅɥѡՑٕ役(啅̸]́Ёѥ]́ЁٕɕQ)чéٕՅɕ͍ٕ䁥؁)MՅЁ эиUɅٕѡ́ѥձ)չմ́ͅ эаq́ݔٔ)ѼѡЁ͔չхѡϊd)х̰ѡɕ͕́مѥͽѥϊt) эЁ݅́ՍՍ́ѽɥ́Ѽم͔)ɑ݅э́ѼɥѡѕɅ)ɝՅ䰁ɕ͍ٕɥЁɐٕ́ɔ)مՅѡ͍ٕɥ܁̸)Ёaͥdȁѕɥ́ɑ́ѡ)ɴɥɥѥ́ȁՍѥ̰ э)́Mˊé]ɉȁ1Ս鄁͕ɤ)ɽMЁ1Սqɕ䁥Ёѥ̇t)ɑe) ͕ȁIѥ́ѽՅ́ɽ%q)ȁ䰁ɕչѡЁt) Ք݅ѱ ձհA卹́ݕեͥ)ɽ-хq᥹Ё9)ͥ́͡܁ЁѼمхὸtMɐ)ɕ̰٥ѡЃqݔ͡ձeЁٕȁٔÊt)ɐѕɥ̸ɽɅٔ՝Ѽ)͍ɥ́ѩȁɽͥݥ)Ѽɕ͍ٕȁݰЁȁ䰁ѡ)́٥ݽѠ)ɑ)5Ȁ