Photo by Riley Fortier
Dr. Matthew L. Niemiller
Its numbers dwindled following groundwater contamination and ecosystem disruption in the 60s and 70s.
The last of this rare oak species was thought to have died off in 2011, but a new specimen — one battered by wildfire and disease — was discovered this year.
United States Botanic Garden
Researchers found the tree in Big Bend National Park in Texas, barely clinging to life.
It’s the first time anyone had formally recorded a sighting of the bird since 2011.
Before that, the critically endangered Santa Marta sabrewing hadn’t been seen since 1946.