Endangered Madagascar songbird rediscovered

The dusky tetra was found in two different sites in Madagascar’s tropical forests

Scientists searching Madagascar’s tropical forests have detected an endangered songbird that hadn’t been seen since 1999. The dusky tetraka (Xanthomixis tenebrosa), a small olive-colored songbird with a yellow throat, was on a list of top 10 most-wanted birds created by a partnership called the Search for Lost Birds initiative. A team with the Peregrine Fund’s Madagascar Program discovered the species in two different sites—one on the Masaola Peninsula in December 2022 and another in Andapa in January of this year. “Due to the changed landscape and its cryptic nature, the searchers had to employ some resourceful detective work and impressive persistence to make the eventual rediscovery,” said Christina Biggs, lost species office with conservation organization Re:wild. “We’re thrilled and relieved to know that this little bird is still singing in the forests of Madagascar. Now comes the work to protect the spaces that the dusky tetraka inhabits, and also keep remaining wild spaces wild, so other birds don’t land on our list in the future.”

Header Image: The dusky tetraka was rediscovered after more than 20 years. Credit: John C. Mittermeier