One of the rarest birds in Vietnam, has just been discovered at a new location in Kon Tum Province significantly extending its known global range and offering hope that the species may not be as threatened with extinction as scientists fear.
Grey-crowned Crocias Crocias langbianbis is one of the least known birds in Asia. It was first described by a Swedish aristocrat, Count Gyldenstople in 1939 from three specimens collected at an unknown locality by young adventurer Bertil Bjorkgren. For over 50 years there were no further records until it was rediscovered by Jonathan Eames, Le Trong Trai and Nguyen Cu at Chu Yang Sin National Park in 1994. The species is currently considered Endangered by BirdLife on behalf of IUCN.
On 19 March 2012 professional bird tour leader David Bishop was at Mang Den in Kon Tum Province, when he first heard and then saw a pair of Grey-crowned Crocias.
“Soon after arrival at the site I immediately recognised the distinctive calls of Grey-crowned Crocias”, said Bishop. “I made a sound recording and observed a pair calling and duetting from the nearby tops of trees in a small clearing.” A second pair was heard later some distance below within a steep valley.
“This is the first time this globally Endangered and little-known species has been recorded in Kon Tum Province. Previously it was known only from sites in Lam Dong and Dak Lak provinces. These records extend the range of this rather localised species by circa 300 km northwards”, said Le Trong Trai Senior Programme Officer with BirdLife Vietnam Programme.