JAKARTA, Indonesia – Scientists trying to photograph wild tigers deep in the Indonesian jungle captured a glimpse of another endangered species instead — the Sumatran ground cuckoo.
An Indonesian-British surveying team released rare images of the short, brown fowl, with black and green plumes, taken with a sensor-triggered, camera.
The bird, apparently startled by the flash, is seen gazing into the lens with spread wings.
"Finding the Sumatran ground cuckoo gives me hope, because it was photographed in disturbed forest that has been left to recover near the national park," said Dr. Matthew Linkie of the University of Kent in England.
The July spotting, near Kerinci Seblat National Park in central-west Sumatra, was the third known recording of the bird since 1916, a statement said. The bird's scientific name is Carpococcyx viridis.
"We've photographed rhinoceros hornbills and great argus pheasants before, but when we found that we'd photographed a Sumatran ground cuckoo, we couldn't believe it," said field leader Yoan Dinata of Fauna & Flora International Indonesia.
The Sumatran rain forests contain some of the world's richest biodiversity, but they are also among the world's most threatened forests, due mainly to illegal logging.