MEXICO CITY (AP) – A bird thought by some to be extinct has been discovered on the island of Cozumel off Mexico’s Caribbean coast, conservationists announced Friday.

The discovery of the Cozumel Thrasher was announced jointly by the American Bird Conservancy and Conservation International, both based in Washington, D.C.

Gavin Shire of the American Bird Conservancy called it “a remarkable rediscovery” considering the bird hadn’t been seen for 10 years.

The thrasher is found only on Cozumel, where the species numbered about 10,000. Most of them apparently died following Hurricane Gilbert in 1988, the groups said.

The Cozumel Thrasher is a brown and white bird about 9 inches long with a long, curved bill. The conservationists said its song “is described as a complex scratchy warbling.”

The conservation groups said the bird was spotted last month. They said they would send other teams to the area to try to find more of the birds.

“This discovery is provides us with cause for real optimism that where one exists, others may exist as well,” said Brad Phillips of Conservation International.

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