10 new bird taxa found in Central Sulawesi, North Maluku

Phylloscopus emilsalimi sp.nov. was found on Taliabu Island in the Sula Islands, North Maluku Province, Indonesia. (LIPI)

Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI)’s Biological Research Center has found ten new taxa of birds in Indonesia’s provinces of Central Sulawesi and North Maluku.

The findings are the result of a collaborative six-week survey between the LIPI’s Biology Research Center and the National University of Singapore in Central Sulawesi and North Maluku from the end of 2013 to early 2014, according to a statement quoted from the LIPI’s website.


The survey locations included Peleng Island in the Banggai Islands and Batudaka Island in the Togean Islands (Central Sulawesi) and Taliabu Island in the Sula Islands (North Maluku).

The findings, which were written by Rheindt FE, Prawiradilaga DM, Ashari H, Suparno, Gwee CY, Lee GWX, Wu MY and Ng NSR, were published on 9 January 2020 in the journal Science, Volume 367, on pages 167-170.

Ten taxa


The ten new taxa consist of five new bird species and five young birds of new species, namely Rhipidura habibiei sp.nov. (found on Peleng Island), Locustella portenta sp.nov. (Taliabu), Myzomela wahe sp.nov. (Taliabu), Phyllocopus suara merdu sp.nov. (Peleng), and Phylloscopus emilsalimi sp.nov. (Taliabu).

Five other taxa are Phyllergates cuculatus sulanus subsp.nov (Taliabu), Phyllergates cucullats relictus subsp.nov. (Peleng), Cyornis omissus omississimus subsp.nov. (Batudaka), Turdus poliocephalus sukahujan subsp.nov. (Taliabu), and Ficedula hyperythra betinabiru subsp.nov. (Taliabu).

Research Professor in zoology at the LIPI Biology Research Center, Dewi Malia Prawiradilaga explained that the findings of many new bird taxa discovered from one expedition constitute extraordinary achievements and are very rare.


The findings happened again only after 100 years ago when Alfred R. Wallace carried out his expedition, she said.

According to Dewi, the natural conditions in the form of the deep sea around the islands support the creation of species known as speciation.

Of the ten new taxa, two species from five new birds were named after Indonesia’s late third President B.J Habibie and the country’s intellectual Emil Salim.


“This is a form of appreciation for the services of these two important figures who are very concerned about the environment and the future of the nation,” said Dewi.

She hopes that the two big names will remain eternal in order to ensure the preservation and existence of both bird species in the nature.

Reporting by Indonesia Window


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