12 Mar 2008

Rare seabird is rediscovered near Papua New Guinea

10:22 am on 12 March 2008

A seabird reportedly sighted only twice in the past 80 years has been rediscovered off the coast of Papua New Guinea, putting to rest concerns that it had become extinct according to researchers.

Scientists travelling in the Bismarck Archipelago, north-east of PNG, managed to photograph more than 30 of the elusive, tube-nosed Beck's Petrel, including young birds which indicates recent breeding.

Like other tubenoses, Beck's Petrel is potentially threatened by introduced cats and rats at its breeding sites, and by logging and forest clearance for oil-palm plantations.

It is slightly smaller and has narrower wings than the Tahiti petrel, which has been seen recently in the Bismarck Archipelago and the nearby Solomon Islands.