The Bornean subspecies of the Rajah scops-owl (Otus brookii) was first described from the montane forests of the Malaysian state of Sabah in 1892. Since then, however, its whereabouts have been a mystery. It was not until 2016 that a group of researchers documented the first sighting of a live individual in more than a century, and due to its rarity, scientists believe it could be its own species. The findings were reported April 28 in The Wilson Journal of Ornithology. That May 4, 2016, rediscovery of the Bornean Rajah scops-owl (O. b. brookii) was part of a 10-year study of avian life-history evolution on Mount Kinabalu in Borneo. The project, led by Thomas E. Martin, a wildlife biologist with the Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Montana, required intensively searching for nests and gathering ecological information about birds. After seven years of working up to 10 hours per day, six days a week, the team accidentally came across O. b. brookii. The rediscovery of O. b. brookii took place in the montane forests of Mount Kinabalu at an elevation of 1,650 meters (5,400 feet). Image by Oscark via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0). Andy Boyce, an avian ecologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s (SCBI) Conservation Ecology Center, happened to be working at a lab in Kinabalu National Park when he was notified by technician Keegan Tranquillo about the sighting of a bird that differed in appearance from the more common mountain scops-owl (O. spilocephalus luciae).…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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