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WILDLIFE OF NORTHERN ENGLAND

Critically Endangered species-1 -bird Araripe Manikin. Introduction.

In this series we review the birds that are currently listed  as being critically endangered. We commence with a species of Manikin bird that is found only in a certain region of Brazil, the Araripe Manikin.

Araripe Manikin.  Courtesy of Rick elis simpson.  CC BY-SA 3.0 License.

Araripe manikin Antilophia bokermanni.

This beautiful little bird occurs in Chapapado do Araripe,south Ceara,Brazil,where there are an estimated 780-800 species. {2012 survey} individuals left. They belong to the family of birds known as the Pipridae,within the order Passeriformes.

This species was only discovered and named in 1998. It was discovered by Galileu Coelho and Weber Silva and  the scientific name of bokermanni was named after Werner Bokerman, a biologist who died in 1995. 

Araripe manikin. Courtesy of Ciro Albano. Standard YouTube License.

Description of Araripe bokermanni.

The males of this species are beautifully patterned,they have a pure white plumage,black wings and tail and a bright crimson nape,crown and mid back. There is also a tuft of feathers of a bright red colour above the bill. They are 14.5 cm long {Five and three quarter inches}.

The females, in contrast, are of a dull olive colour with a paler belly and a small tuft of feathers above the bill.  The song is a musical warble.

Female at nest. Courtesy of Hesperia2007{Shirley}, from Bangkok Thailand,   CC BY-SA 2.0 License.

Araripe Manakin (Antilophia bokermanni) on nest.jpg

Basic biology of the Araripe manikin.

As regards the biology ,very little is known about this rare species. It is thought to exist in pairs and has been reported to feed on fruits of the Cordia species. Juveniles have been encountered in March and January.

 

Chapapado do Araripe range Brazil. Public domain courtesy of Ygor Coelho Soares. Wikipedia.

Threats and conservation issues of the Araripe Manikin.

The threats facing this species includes habitat loss due to man's encroachment for development and recreational purposes. Land has been cleared for agriculture for crops such as banana,maize,beans and tomato which has also taken its toll. Indeed the locality  where the species was first discovered has since been turned into a recreational park. Although the species still does occur in this locality it is not known what the impact of human intervention will be.

The bird is found within the Araripe National Forest and a larger environmental protection area. However, these designations do not prevent disturbance or exploitation of the species. Conservationists remark that it is imperative that this area is designated as a biological reserve or a national park.

The owner of the land next to the type locality has, thankfully, resolved to protect the habitat after the bird was discovered. Also a project supported by British Petroleum Conservation Leadership Programmes ,is currently underway to study the ecology of the species and to assess the main threats facing the species.

It is hoped that the information gathered will help to formulate a conservation strategy to bring this species back from the brink of extinction. 

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