Quito : Ecuador's National Institute of Biodiversity (Inabio) announced the discovery of a new species of hummingbird, which is endemic to the moorlands of the provinces of El Oro and Loja, in the country's southwest, near the border with Peru.
Francisco Sornoza, a researcher at Inabio, discovered the bird last year while visiting the province of El Oro.
Sornoza told EFE that the species was "difficult to identify" because of its peculiar features, which led him to realize that "the species had not been registered at the site."
The researcher then contacted other South American scientists, sending them photographs of the hummingbird.
"They thought that it was a hybrid, but an Ecuadorian ornithologist suggested that this might be a new species," Sornoza said.
The scientists then decided to carry out in-depth research by comparing photographs and footage of the bird with that of other hummingbirds, which confirmed that it was a new species.
According to an Inabio report, the hummingbird has a green-colored head and a deep blue-colored neck, while its tail has white feathers.
Sornoza said that the species, which he named "blue-throated star hummingbird," has a small population "of less than 300 individuals," which live in small ravines due to environmental degradation in other areas.
According to the Inabio, the species is "critically endangered" because its habitat is extremely small and has been affected by the expansion of farmland and mining operations.