Dusky tetraka

The dusky tetraka is a rare and elusive bird that was thought to be extinct for over two decades. However, recent sightings have sparked excitement among ornithologists and conservationists. In this article, we will explore the unique features of this bird and the challenges it faces in the wild.


The dusky tetraka (Xanthomixis tenebrosa) is a small bird that is approximately 12 cm in length. It has a dark olive-green plumage with a pale yellowish throat and a ring around the eye. The male and female birds have similar coloring, but the male has a slightly larger bill. The dusky tetraka is a member of the Old World warbler family, and it is closely related to the Bernieridae family of birds.

Habitat and Distribution:

The dusky tetraka is endemic to the island of Madagascar, where it is found in the subtropical and tropical moist lowland forests. It was first discovered in the 1800s, but it has remained a rare and elusive species due to its secretive behavior and limited range. The bird’s population is believed to be declining rapidly due to habitat loss and fragmentation.

Recent Sightings:

The dusky tetraka was last seen in 1999 and was thought to be extinct. However, in 2021, the bird was rediscovered in two remote locations in Madagascar. The first sighting was made by a birding guide, Liva Rakotondrazafy, who found the bird while leading a birdwatching tour in the Ranomafana National Park. The second sighting was made by a team of researchers from the University of Kent and the Universit√© d’Antananarivo, who found the bird in the Andohahela National Park.

Conservation Efforts:

The rediscovery of the dusky tetraka has sparked hope among conservationists and ornithologists. Efforts are underway to protect the bird’s habitat and study its behavior and ecology. The Ranomafana National Park and the Andohahela National Park, where the bird was recently found, are both protected areas that are home to a diverse range of plant and animal species. However, these parks are under threat from habitat loss due to deforestation and agriculture.

Challenges and Threats:

The dusky tetraka faces several challenges and threats in the wild. Habitat loss and fragmentation are the biggest threats to the bird’s survival. Madagascar has lost over 90% of its original forest cover, and much of the remaining forest is highly fragmented. This makes it difficult for the dusky tetraka to find suitable breeding and foraging sites. Other threats to the bird’s survival include hunting and the introduction of non-native species.

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