Thought to be Extinct Bird Photographed then Eaten in Philippines

February 19, 2009

A rare quail from the Philippines was recently photographed in the Philippines by a TV crew and then sold for food at a market, according to the Agence France-Press news agency.

Found only on the island of Luzon, Worcester’s buttonquail was known solely through drawings based on dated museum specimens collected several decades ago.

Scientists had suspected the species—listed as “data deficient” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s 2008 Red List—was extinct.

One hopes the eaten bird wasn’t the last of it’s kind, but the buttonquail is from a “notoriously cryptic and unobtrusive family of birds,” according to the nonprofit Birdlife International, so the species may survive undetected in other regions.


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