A new species of bird has been discovered in Northeast India in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. The species belongs to genus Liocichla, and is a member of the group of birds known as babblers. It was discovered by Raman Athreya, who is an astrophysicist by training, and works at the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics near Pune City in Maharashtra, India. Ramana is a passionate biologist (and an ornithologist in particular), who has been conducting surveys in Northeast India (mainly the state of Arunachal Pradesh) for more than 10 years now. He also heads a biodiversity inventorying and conservation project at the Eagle’s Nest Wildlife Sanctuary funded by a grant from the Rufford Foundation (UK).
Arunachal Pradesh has some of the largest contiguous tracts of tropical, subtropical and temparate broadleaf forests in South Asia, and lies at the conjunction of three biodiversity hotspots: Himalayas, Mountains of Southwest China, and Indo-Burma. In recent years, these forests have yielded many new vertebrate taxa, including a new species of monkey.