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New Bird Species Discovered in Southern China

An international conservation group says the discovery of a new bird species in southern China suggests the region could be home to many other unknown birds.

Birdlife International Thursday announced the discovery of a new species of babbler in China's Nonggang region near its border with Vietnam.

Ornithologists Zhou Fang and Jiang Aiwu first spotted the fist-size dark brown bird with white specks on its chest in 2005.

They later determined it was an undescribed species and have since named it the Nonggang babbler, after the region where it was discovered.

The new species resembles a wren-babbler in that it prefers running to flying, and seems to spend most of its time on the ground foraging for insects.

Nigel Collar, an ornithologist at Birdlife International, says the discovery is "exciting evidence" that there could be many more unknown bird species in the region.

Ornithologist Zhou Fang warned the country's rapid development could threaten many biologically diverse areas in China before further discoveries are made.

About 100 of the babblers have been identified so far in the Nonggang Natural Reserve in southwestern China.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.