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Travel company rediscovers seabird thought to be extinct

Seattle based travel company Zegrahm Expeditions specializes in eco-sensitive travel, organizing trips to all corners of the globe. The company promises to give clients the "ultimate expedition travel experience", whether they're taking part in one of Zegrahm's trekking adventures or small-ship cruises. Zegrahm's strives to give their customers a sense of discovery, no matter which trip they go on, but on one recent expedition that sense of discovery took a very real turn when team members sighed a rare seabird that hasn't been recorded in the wild for more than 83 years.

The expedition, which was led by seabird expert Peter Harrison, took place this past February. The journey entailed a small-ship sailing adventure from Auckland, New Zealand to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea. Along the way, the ship stopped at several remote, and seldom visited, islands on the Vanuatu archipelago. While there, Harrison, and a number of other members of the group, spotted and photographed, 21 individual Vanuatu Petrels, a seabird that hasn't been seen in the wild since they were first discovered by ornithologist Rollo Beck back in 1927.

Zegrahm is already planning a return trip to the region in November of this year, and again in 2012. Both expeditions are expected to be very popular with bird watchers hoping to get a glimpse of this rare and unique seabird, that until now has only been seen in museums. Known as the Faces of Melanesia expedition, this cruise is generally noteworthy because it routinely visits remote South Pacific islands that few people ever see. But with this recent discovery, it will probably become well known in the bird watching community as an opportunity to add another species to their list.

Filed under: Oceania, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Ecotourism, Cruises

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