MANILA - A rare Philippines quail that was feared to have become extinct has been photographed alive for the first time -- as it was headed for the cooking pot, ornithologists said Tuesday.
Hunters snared the Worcester's buttonquail (Turnix worcesteri) in the Caraballo mountain range last month and a TV crew took pictures and video footage of the live bird at a poultry market, the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines said.
Club president Michael Lu said the group was "ecstatic" about the find, but they also "feel sad that the locals do not value the biodiversity around them."
He added: "What if this was the last of its species? Much more has to be done in creating conservation awareness and local consciousness about our unique threatened bird fauna."
Named after Dean Conant Worcester, an American zoologist who worked in the Philippines in the early 20th century, the bird was previously only known through drawings based on dead museum specimens collected decades... [ Continued ]