Saving threatened habitats worldwide

New bird species for Paraguay’s Chaco

3 May, 2011 - 10:25 -- World Land Trust

A Horned Screamer was sighted in the Chaco: a first for this region of Paraguay

A horned Screamer

The Horned Screamer (Anhima cornuta) filmed by Dr. Arnaldo Wiens and the Naturaleza Paraguay film crew. Photo © Dr. Arnaldo Wiens.

Dr Arnoldo Wiens, a TV presenter from a Paraguayan nature programme, recently spotted the Horned Screamer (Anhima cornuta) bird species in the Chaco, northern Paraguay. He contacted World Land Trust (WLT) partner organisation, Guyra Paraguay, to tell them about this exciting new discovery. Guyra Paraguay said:

“Until this sighting, it was believed that the species existed in only one site in the country. This is a new recording for the Paraguayan Chaco’s species list and its presence is an important fact to be considered by authorities managing the National Park.”

The Horned Screamer is spread abundantly across many countries in South America, however very few have been recorded in Paraguay. Although on a global level the species’ conservation status is classified as Least Concern, in Paraguay it is Critically Endangered. The Horned Screamer is related to ducks, geese and swans from the Anatidae family, but they have bills that look more like game birds’. Few studies of this species have been carried-out, so very little is known about its behaviour. The Horned Screamer was seen and photographed 15 kilometres from Bahia Negra, the town nearest to Guyra Paraguay’s Chaco Pantanal Reserve and the base of the Three Giants Biological Station, funded by WLT. The purchase of much of the reserve was funded by World Land Trust and Guyra Paraguay now protects almost 35,000 acres of once threatened habitat. It is in the Chaco-Pantanal, a region that serves as a unique transition zone between the Dry Chaco grasslands to the west and the world's largest wetland, the Pantanal, to the east. The annual flooding of the Chaco-Pantanal is particularly important for aquatic birds, including thousands of migratory species that stop here from all over the Americas. This is the first time that the Horned Screamer has been sighted so far from where it is usually recorded near the Río Paraná. Guyra Paraguay congratulated Dr Arnoldo Wiens and the TV channel, Red Guarani, for this exciting new discovery. They said:

“We recognise the great efforts and dedication of the Red Guarani team as they continue to teach people about the natural wonders of the Paraguayan Chaco.”

More information about WLT's work in Paraguay and the Horned Screamer

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