Bird Extinct 139 Years Rediscovered

Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 7th, 2007


This old public domain painting is of Acrocephalus palustris, a species related to Acrocephalus orinus just rediscovered.

A bird presumed to have been extinct for well over 100 years has been rediscovered in a pristine coastal wetland in Petchaburi, on the Gulf of Thailand. The large-billed reed warbler (Acrocephalus orinus) had not been seen since 1867, when a single bird of the species was reported in the northwest of India. Bangkok Post, March 7, 2007.

We collected two feathers from the bird for DNA tests and the result showed that it perfectly matched the DNA of the 139-year-old specimen kept at the British Museum. We never dreamed for a minute that we would rediscover a presumed-extinct species.Philip RoundDepartment of Biology, Mahidol University, Thailand

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

13 Responses to “Bird Extinct 139 Years Rediscovered”

  1. Darkstream responds:

    Let’s hear it for field research! This is turning out to be the year of the rediscovered species.

  2. captiannemo responds:

    bring back the mammoth!
    DNA is GREAT!

  3. DWA responds:

    You know, that mammoth project sure does seem to be stalled, don’t it? Unlike, say, tyrannosaurus rex, you have the habitat, plus the animal won’t “solve” your overpopulation problem!

    And of course then you’d have to bring back the sabertooth…;-)

    That said.

    This may be an eeny little bird…but it’s in a very densely populated part of the world. In terms of scale, this is a Thai sasquatch. Bigger, in fact, as there apparently haven’t even been many (if ANY) sightings since extinction was declared.

  4. YourPTR! responds:

    When I saw the headline I was hoping it was going to be the Moa or Haast’s Eagle that was rediscovered. 😀 This is still a fantastic rediscovery though, what a beautiful bird it is and it certainly gives hope that other presumed long lost species might still be “lurking” out there! 🙂

  5. mystery_man responds:

    See, they had a holotype to match it against. Very, very important everyone! 🙂 Seriously, it is very uplifting to me that in this day and age, with all the environmental problems and conservation problems occuring, we can still be making so many new discoveries and rediscoveries. Of course it could just be this bird’s last bastion is being infringed upon, but I’m trying to be positive. It really just gives me hope that it is not too late to turn things around.

  6. vaughan responds:

    This is a great news for birders everywhere.

    Acrocpehalus orinus appears to be a ’DNA split’ from Clamorous Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus stentoreus). Use this Google image link to see the latter species that looks more or less ’exactly’ the same as the one rediscovered.

    NB Phil Round has played a huge part in our understanding of birdlife in Thailand and thereabouts, and very much deserves to be involved in this rediscovery. Congratulations.

  7. Remus responds:

    “there apparently haven’t even been many (if ANY) sightings since extinction was declared”

    I’ll bet there have been many sightings. Just not by informed orithologists. It is a fairly common looking bird.

  8. RockerEm responds:

    YAY! Rediscoveries are just so uplifting. Imagine the species out there that are thought to be extinct that in the end are not!

  9. Bob K. responds:

    What I would love to see, along a similar vein, is the re-discovery/re-confirmation of the Washington Eagle. What a majestic bird that must be.

  10. YourPTR! responds:

    I hope there will be a similar rediscovery of the Passenger Pigeon next. 🙂

  11. DWA responds:

    Remus: common looking it may be.

    But extinction tends to focus people. And densely populated areas tend to foster lots of people who know what looks normal around there and what looks out of place.

    I saw my first winter wren the other weekend. A more nondescript looking LBB (birderese for “little brown bird”) one cannot imagine. At one time in my life I wouldn’t even have noticed it. On this day it was as arresting as a klieg light coming on in my eyes on a pitch-black night. (And I still don’t consider myself a birder of particular proficiency.)

    Nothing that’s been declared extinct is that common looking.

  12. YourPTR! responds:

    Seeing as this subspecies is practically identical in appearance to its related species, any sightings over the last 139 years were probably put down as being the much more common similar species.

  13. Terry W. Colvin responds:

    I’m unable to access the article from The Bangkok Post.

    Please note that my wife, Ruk-Long, and I will be retiring to Thailand by next summer. Our house now building in Pran Buri is near the town of Hua Hin (Stone Head) and the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. I quote from a 2001 edition of Lonely Planet, p. 391:

    “Fauna – Notable wildlife around Khao Sam Roi Yot includes crab-eating macaque, dusky langur (the park is considered one of the best spots in the world for viewing dusky langurs), barking deer, slow loris, Malayan pangolin, fishing cat, palm civet, otter, serow, Javian mongoose and monitor lizard.

    “Because the park lies at the intersection of the East Asian and Australian fly ways, as many as 300 migratory and resident bird species have been recorded, including yellow bittern, cinnamon bittern, purple swamp hen, water rail, ruddy-breasted crake, bronze-winged jacana, grey heron, painted stork, whistling duck, spotted eagle and black-headed ibis. THE PARK PROTECTS THAILAND’S LARGEST FRESHWATER MARSH (along with mangroves and mudflats), and is one of only three places in the country where the purple heron breeds.

    “Waterfowl are most commonly seen in the cool season. Encroachment by shrimp farmers in the vicinity has sadly destroyed substantial portions of mangroves and other wetlands, thus depriving the birds of an important habitat.”

    This swamp is probably too small to harbor much unknown wildlife but one never knows. I will do what I can to collect tidbits of information.

Leave your comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

|Top | Content|

Connect with Cryptomundo

Cryptomundo FaceBook Cryptomundo Twitter Cryptomundo Instagram Cryptomundo Pinterest


Creatureplica Fouke Monster Sybilla Irwin


|Top | FarBar|

Attention: This is the end of the usable page!
The images below are preloaded standbys only.
This is helpful to those with slower Internet connections.