SCIENTIFIC NAME:Merulaxis stresemanni POPULATION:One known individual IUCN STATUS: Critically Endangered TREND: Decreasing HABITAT: Humid lowland forest in northeastern Brazil.
One of the world’s rarest birds, the Stresemann’s Bristlefront appears to be literally one bird away from extinction. In December 2018, after months of intensive searching, a lone bristlefront was observed in Brazil. This rediscovery renews hope that this species can be saved.
Unfortunately, this Critically Endangered bird is confined to one of the most fragmented and degraded – and vulnerable – forests in the Americas.
This area contains one of the highest concentrations of range-restricted species in the world. No fewer than 60 endemic species depend on the region’s wet forests. Among the birds recorded at the Tanagers Reserve are globally threatened species such as the Choco Vireo and Gold-ringed Tanager, both Endangered; and the Cloud-forest Pygmy-owl, Black-and-gold Tanager, and Giant Antpitta, all of which are Vulnerable.
Golden-winged Warblers are specialists, requiring “young,” or early-successional, forests for breeding. Once their young leave the nest, the birds need mature forests for foraging nearby.
Golden-winged Warblers also suffer from competition and hybridization with Blue-winged Warblers; parasitism by cowbirds, which lay their eggs in the warbler’s nests; and loss of wintering habitat in Latin America.
The Paraopeba River, affected by the mining waste dam the collapse in the city of Brumadinho, Brazil.
The toxic mud from Vale’s collapsed dam is working its way down the river and killing it. According to an analysis by NGO SOS Mata Atlântica, 40 km of the Paraopeba River can already be considered dead. The ore tailings increased the water’s turbidity by more than 100 times and wiped out its oxygen. No animal can survive under these conditions.
The mud is not the only issue, as heavy metals – toxic mining waste that was once stored in the dam, are now in the river, contaminating its waters. Analyses conducted after the environmental crime have found high concentrations of nickel, mercury, lead, zinc, and cadmium.