Bird watch
Alister Doyle

SCIENTISTS have found a new species of bird in Borneo, the "spectacled flowerpecker", and expressed the hope that the discovery would help spur conservation of the islandís threatened forests.

The small bird, grey with white stripes, was spotted in June 2009 on flowering mistletoe in the Malaysian part of Borneo by a group including biologist David Edwards of Leeds University in England.

"We hope the announcement of our discovery will lead to our ultimate goal: conservation of the new species and large tracts of its habitat, which is under threat from clearance for oil palm agriculture," he said in a statement.

"This discovery shows once more how little is known about the diversity of life on our planet," said Jean-Christophe Vie, Deputy Director of the Species Programme of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

This year is the U.N.ís International Year of Biodiversity, trying to protect animals and plants from threats such as loss of habitats to expanding cities, road building, climate change and introductions of alien species. ó Reuters