For the last 20 years, scientists at the Trinity College Dublin have been studying birds in Sulawesi region, Indonesia. According to a report from the zoologists, they knew that the Wakatobi white-eye birds existed but they had no clue that the Wang-Wangi white-eye species existed. It’s after 20 years that they have decided to officially consider the two their own species.
The Wakatobi White-Eyes
One of the two birds that scientists have discovered and classified is the Wakatobi white-eye. A white tummy as well as a white ring around the eyes, the Wakatobi white-eye birds are only found in the Wakatobi archipelago in Southeast of Sulawesi. The scientists knew that this species existed but it was not officially classified until recently.
The Wangi Wangi White-Eye Bird
This is the second species to be officially discovered and named. With its closest relatives being thousands of miles from Wangi-Wangi Island, this is a unique species in the Sulawesi region also known as “the anomalous island”. It has some similarities with the Wakatobi white-eye as they both have white rings around the eyes. With a green tummy, the Wangi-Wangi white-eye is only found in the Wangi-Wangi Island and thus the name. It was discovered in the year 2003 but grouped recently.
The Difference between the Two New Species
Although found in the same region, the two birds vary in various ways. While the Wakatobi white-eye has a white belly, the Wangi-Wangi has a green one. The features that distinguish them the most are the body size, bellies, genetics, and song. It’s through the research that the zoologists involving Darren O’Connell and Nicola Marples that the species were distinguished as the Wangi-Wangi was believed to be a subspecies of the Wakatobi white-eye.
As scientists work on recognizing the Wakatobi Archipelago as an endemic bird area, this is a plus in their endeavors. The fact that two new bird species have been discovered is a great step ahead as this is also of paramount importance to conservation groups. It is a breakthrough for zoologists who have been studying birds in an area that has been quite a challenge to identify the different species available.
Divided into two, each part of the archipelago has bird species from a different continent. The eastern half of the archipelago contains bird species from Australia while the western part consists of species from Asia.