New Species of Songbird Found

Researchers have found two new endemic genera and a new species of songbird in Western Ghats of India.

Researchers has designated two new genera, the Western Ghats shortwings as Sholicola (closely related to flycatchers) and the laughing thrushes as Montecincla (closely related to babblers.

The newly described Sholicola ashambuensis is confined to the Agasthyar Malai mountain ranges.

The species in the Montecincla genera include Montecincla jerdoni , Montecincla cachinnans , Montecincla fairbanki and Montecincla meridionalis belongs to the Montecincla genus. Sholicola major and Sholicola albiventris belongs to the Sholicola genus.

Western Ghats (also known as Sahyadri) is a mountain range that runs parallel to the western coast of the Indian peninsula, located entirely in India. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the eight “hottest hot-spots” of biological diversity in the world.

The area is one of the world’s ten “Hottest biodiversity hotspots” and has over 7,402 species of flowering plants, 1,814 species of non-flowering plants, 139 mammal species, 508 bird species, 179 amphibian species, 6,000 insects species and 290 freshwater fish species; it is likely that many undiscovered species live in the Western Ghats.

At least 325 globally threatened species occur in the Western Ghats.