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Songbird Remix's Product Preview Thread

Ken Gilliland

Dances with Bees
HW3D Exclusive Artist
Extinct? Himalayan Quail have not been seen with certainty since 1876, despite a number of searches. Thorough surveys are still required. It has been severely impacted by hunting and habitat degradation. While it hasn’t been seen (officially recorded) in about 150 years, it is believed that it probably remains extant. This is because the species is difficult to detect (favoring dense grass and being reluctant to fly). In addition, there is a recent set of possible sightings around Naini Tal in 2003. But any remaining population is likely to be tiny, and for these reasons, it is treated as Critically Endangered.

The species was last seen 60 years before independence, indicating that hunting levels during the colonial period contributed significantly to its decline. Widespread land-use changes thereafter, particularly open cast mining for limestone and related disturbance, are other likely contributory factors to its decline. Its contact call was apparently heard frequently in November and appears to have aided hunters to locate them. It is also hypothesized that habitat changes at lower elevations during the post-Pleistocene glaciation might have pushed sub-populations to sub-optimal higher elevations, causing local extinctions.

There have been a number of official and unofficial attempts to rediscover the species, covering some of the most suitable areas around Mussoorie and Naini Tal. However, none has yet been successful. In 2002 and 2010, surveys used posters, interviews with locals and habitat analyses to direct field searches, but failed to find definitive evidence of the species. Further surveys involving local communities are planned. The potential distribution of the species has been mapped, based on the habitat requirements of two similar species: Cheer Pheasant (Catreus wallechi) and Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus impejanus). This work identified five large areas of potentially suitable habitat in Uttarakhand, India which should be surveyed. The same study suggested that the species could still be extant, with an estimated year of extinction of 2023.
It has only been recorded in 2 locations (and 12 specimens) in the western Himalayas in Uttarakhand, north-west India.
 

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Ken Gilliland

Dances with Bees
HW3D Exclusive Artist
More bird species from TEEv4... The Boa Nova Tapaculo and the Buff-throated Purpletuft (along with some Kinglet Calypturas)

David Attenborough said "Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?"

About the birds...

The endangered Boa Nova Tapaculo is endemic to eastern Brazil in southeastern Bahía and is found in the undergrowth of humid montane evergreen forests, specifically in dark and densely vegetated ravines often with bamboo. It is mainly insectivorous.

There are 1,000-2,499 mature individuals with a decreasing population trend. It is generally uncommon. It was discovered as recently as 1993, and formerly described in 2014. It is a restricted-range species, confined to just 4600 km², in two disjunct ranges of mountains, with an overall population of perhaps fewer than 2,500 individuals estimated at the time of the species’ description, and which is believed to be declining. It has been recorded in both Boa Nova and Serra das Lontras National Parks, but more than 40% of the species’ potential Area of Occupancy is unprotected and suffering ongoing pressure from deforestation and logging. The secondary areas are being converted to pasture through burning, and the species’ apparently highly specialized habitat requirements render it potentially vulnerable to environmental change caused by future climate alteration.

TEE-boa nova tapaculo.jpg


The endangered Buff-throated Purpletuft is found Brazil in humid forests, secondary woodlands and cacao plantations. It loves Mistletoe berries.

There are about 250-2,500 mature individuals with a decreasing population trend. It is considered rare and local, and range highly fragmented. It has been recorded from only a few sites; only in recent years found to be surviving in some areas in south-eastern Brazil, and small population discovered in northeastern Brazil. The existence of the northern race leucopygia was for long been obscured by mislabeling of the two specimens on which it was based as having originated from Guyana. The global population estimate was revised downwards in 2014, and now thought to number 250–2500 mature individuals with fewer than 250 in each subpopulation.

The future survival of both races threatened by extensive destruction of lowland Atlantic Forest; the fact that it occurs in mainly lowland coastal forest renders it even more at risk than was previously thought, as this habitat is being cleared at a rapid rate. It may undertake altitudinal migration or local movements, which require further investigation in order to better plan conservation measures. It occurs in Serra dos Órgãos National Park and Desengano and Serra do Mar State Parks and Ubatuba Experimental Station (São Paulo). Ongoing deforestation in extreme northeastern of its range. The protection of forest at Murici (Alagoas) would greatly benefit this and other globally threatened species. It has been assigned a variety of threat categories; previously considered ‘Near Threatened’. Since 2016, it has been assessed as globally ‘Endangered’ once again, a status maintained at the national level in Brazil.

The two birds flying in the background are Kinglet Calypturas. They are endemic to a very restricted range to the north of Rio de Janeiro city in Brazil.

They are considered Critically Endangered-possibly Extinct with less than 50 thought to exist.

Its tiny population, known from just one locality in the 1990s (following over 100 years without a confirmed record), is likely to be continuing to decline owing to extensive habitat loss and fragmentation within its tiny range. Deforestation appears to have brought this species to the brink of extinction - historically driven by gold and diamond mining and the creation of coffee plantations in areas where the species was initially collected. If it is an altitudinal migrant, the lack of remaining forest below 1,000 m is likely to be a particular threat. Development within forest around the edges of the Serra dos Órgãos National Park, particularly at the site of the 1996 rediscovery, is concerning. The harvesting of bromeliads, mistletoes and orchids from the forest of the region may further threaten the species by reducing food supply, but also by altering habitat structure and microclimate. Climate change could also have an impact on the species, particularly through habitat shifting.

Although there have been several rumors and unverified reports, the species was unrecorded during the 20th century until two birds were observed in the Serra dos Órgãos on several days in October 1996. There have been no reliable records of the species since 1996, despite searches in the Reserva Ecologica Guapiaçu, the Teresopolis area, the foothills of the Serra do Mar, Ubatuba and between Nova Friburgo and Soumidoura in September to November 2006, which investigated several unconfirmed reports (F. Olmos in 2003; Lambert in 2007, Lambert and Kirwan in 2010). A specimen of this species, purported to have been collected somewhere in the state of São Paulo between May 1819 and April 1820, was discovered in the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, in 2007 and could potentially extend the area over which the species is known to have at least formerly occurred; however, its true provenance has not been satisfactorily established.

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Ken Gilliland

Dances with Bees
HW3D Exclusive Artist
It's here...

Today, April 26th through April 29th, is annual Audubon's Birthday Charity Sale. 33% (or more) of my proceeds will go to Audubon's endangered bird programs. This sale, in particular, champions the endangered Tri-colored Blackbird and the Yellow-billed Cuckoo.
My new releases, "Threatened, Endangered, Extinct v4" and "Flowerpeckers and Leaftossers", plus the rest of my catalog will be 50% off during the sale. Literally, each set that you but will save at least one bird in the wild.


AudubonSale2024.jpg

 

Ken Gilliland

Dances with Bees
HW3D Exclusive Artist
Another bird from my Threatened Endangered Extinct set...

The Russet-winged Spadebill is endemic to southeastern Brazil (Paraná and São Paulo eastward to central Espírito Santo, south to northeastern Santa Catarina and northeastern Rio Grande do Sul) and adjacent eastern Paraguay (Canindeyú southward to Paraguarí, Caazapá and Itapúa) and extreme northeastern Argentina (Iguazú National Park and Salto Encantado Provincial Park, in northern Misiones).

It is found in the undergrowth of humid forests and medium levels of mature second growth, both in coastal mountains and lowlands and in interior tableland forests. They are called spadebills because of their broad, flat, triangular bills. It sits still on perch in crown of small tree (3–8 m), scanning surrounding foliage for prey; then either suddenly moves to new perch, or uses rapid upward-sally or diagonal-sally maneuvers to scoop prey from undersides of leaves, after which it continues without pause to a new perch.

TEE russett-winged spadebill.jpg
There are only 2,500-9,999 mature individuals with a decreasing population trend. Extensive and continuing deforestation across most of its range may have caused a population decline and led to its disappearance from previously occupied locations. Less than 20% of original extent of lowland Atlantic Forest remains intact, and surviving forest, even within protected areas, suffers from agricultural conversion, mining, urbanization, industrialization, and associated road-building; in Paraguay alone, 38% of forests disappeared between 1984 and 1991, less than 10% is now left, and significant forest loss occurs even within San Rafael National Park.
 

Ken Gilliland

Dances with Bees
HW3D Exclusive Artist
A thanks to everyone who participated in my annual sale. Together, we've managed to help save hundreds of endangered tri-colored blackbirds and yellow-billed cuckoos this year. A big thank-you!

I left "Threatened Endangered Extinct v4" (as well as the others 3 in the series), plus "Flowerpiercers & Leaftossers" on 30% off sale since both never got their normal introductory sale period. Ken _Gilliland's Store on Renderosity
 

Ken Gilliland

Dances with Bees
HW3D Exclusive Artist
I've been steadily working on my NW model... I've pretty much decided that the initial base model set will contain 3 species; the American Bird Grasshopper (North and Central America), the Meadow Grasshopper (Eurasia), and the Migratory Locust (Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand).

Here is some imagery of the American Bird Grasshopper I'm currently working on...
 

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Ken Gilliland

Dances with Bees
HW3D Exclusive Artist
Here's the other two species that will be included: The Meadow Grasshoppers of Eurasia and the Migratory Locust of the Eurasia, Africa and Australia
 

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Ken Gilliland

Dances with Bees
HW3D Exclusive Artist
I probably shouldn't be showing this because it's still in its early stages, but I'm happy the direction it's going. The geometry and morphs aren't finalized and the textures have been pretty much slapped on in order for me to see if the "Air Sac" effect I've been trying to achieve actually is working...

... saying all that, I think everything is turning out pretty well... well enough that I threw together a quick scene in Poser's firefly to pad my ego a bit (that I actually know what I'm doing lol). My Prairie-chicken set will probably appear around the end of June/start of July.

Render 3.jpg
 

Ken Gilliland

Dances with Bees
HW3D Exclusive Artist
here's a couple more images, showing both the Greater and Lesser Prairie-chickens... this set is scheduled to be in the store at the start of July.
 

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Ken Gilliland

Dances with Bees
HW3D Exclusive Artist
I'm glad you're doing both...still hoping to see one on the wild when visiting Kansas in-laws!
You could possibly see both... the latest (and largest) group of sightings for both has been in the area around Alanthus, Kansas.

Here's one more render, this time of the Lesser using my Sagebrush Habitat, Side-splotched lizard and honey bee. The sagebrush habitat is the primary ecosystem for the Lesser Prairie-chicken.

sagebrush.jpg
 
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