The new study claims that an extremely rare songbird called the Liberian Greenbul that scientists have been looking for many years may have never existed. Since the 1980s, scientists had been looking high and low for the Liberian Greenbul; a new study says that what they were searching for was just a variant of a common bird.
In the early 1980s, a strange bird was spotted in the forests of West Africa. The bird was said to be similar to the Icterine Greenbul, with white markings on the wings. Researchers were believed that they had a new species and after nine more observations of the same bird, a single specimen was found in 1984.
But due to the civil wars, researchers could not go back to the Liberian forest for 25 years. However, further research was continued to the sighting area in 2017 and 2013, but no sign of the bird was found. So, only a single specimen of the Liberian Greenbul was found and it is one of the world’s lesser known bird species. In fact, the bird was named as Critically Endangered till 2016.
Martin Collinson of the University of Aberdeen and lead author said, “We can’t say definitively that the Liberian Greenbul is the same Icterine Greenbul but we have presented enough evidence that makes any other explanation seem highly unlikely.”
The University of Aberdeen in Scotland’s researchers’ team has decided to find the truth behind the Liberian Greenbul, and they believed it could have been the incorrect prediction for an already spotted bird species.