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Birdbrains; FILM CREW FIND 'EXTINCT' BUTTONQUAIL ..BUT IT'S THEN SOLD FOR 10P AND EATEN.

Byline: BY EMILY NASH

A BIRD feared to have become extinct years ago was captured on film in remote mountains - and then sold for 10p and eaten.

The Worcester's Buttonquail was caught on camera for the first time by a French documentary team who were filming native bird trappers at work in the Philippines.

But the filmmakers did not realise how rare the bird was and the trappers took it to a local poultry market where it was snapped up by a hungry local for the cooking pot. It was only identified as a Worcester's

Buttonquail when a bird expert was shown the film.

Michael Lu, president of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, said: "We are ecstatic this rarely seen species was photographed by accident. It may be the only photo of this bird.

"But I also feel sad that the locals do not value the biodiversity around them and that this bird was sold for food.

What if this was the last of its species?" Mr Lu added: "Much more has to be done in creating conservation awareness and local consciousness about our unique threatened bird fauna."

The Buttonquail only lives on Luzon island in the Philippines. Until now it had only been known through drawings of decades-old museum specimens.

Only a few have been sighted since 1902. Expert Arne Jensen said: "Once you don't see a bird in a generation, you wonder if it's extinct. For this species we simply do not know its status."

CAPTION(S):

EXTREMELY RARE The buttonquail
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 3, 2009
Words:255
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