TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) directorate general of ecosystem and natural resources (KSDAE) announced the rediscovery of a bird species, Kalimantan Babbler or Malacocincla Perspicillata, which was believed to have been extinct for 172 years since 1848.
The KSDAE director general, WIratno, conveyed his appreciation for the ‘citizen science’ who contributed in rediscovering the formerly-extinct bird in South Kalimantan.
“Wildlife could only flourish living in its natural habitat,” said Wiratno on March 2 who also asserted his promise to battle illegal wildlife poaching on protected species.
An official of the Sebangau National Park, Teguh Willy Nugroho, said the Kalimantan Babbler which is endemic to the region matches the description of the observation of French ornithologist Charles Lucien Bonaparte back in 1850 who was guided by the notes made by German naturalist and geologist Carl A.L.M Schwaner in his expedition to Kalimantan, or Borneo as the international community calls it.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies the Kalimantan Babbler as susceptible species and changed the status for the species in 2008 to ‘lack of data’ for its existence. The Indonesian government in a 2018 law had not included it as a protected species.
The unintended rediscovery of the Babbler was thanks to two residents of a region in South Kalimantan who one of them is a member of a group named Galeatus. After discussing with the group’s team of admins that eventually contacted a bird expert from Birdpacker looked deeper into the finding and confirmed the finding based on the bird’s visual traits.