There's a report of species newly recorded from Mindanao island, which includes two folkloric accounts of animals that may or may not be recognized species (and may or may not be something as yet undescribed). The first is a "red-faced monkey":
"A group of red-faced monkeys that can mimic human laughter has been sighted in the mountain ranges of Sal-dab, a sacred mountain in Northern Mindanao, The STAR learned recently.
"The monkey that mimics human voice is known to natives as Uma-ay and is believed to bring a curse on whoever sees it.
"According to local folklore, whoever sees the creature will lose his way in the jungle or may encounter misfortune, accident or even death along the way." ...
"A tribal trapper interviewed by The STAR last year said the Uma-ay looks human because they do not have hair on their faces and can mimic the human voice. They grow up to the size of the native monkeys in the area.
"'The laugh of an Uma-ay is an ominous sign, it means misfortune or even death,' the tribal hunter said in the Hiliga-onon dialect.
"The hunter declined to name the location of the place where the Uma-ay can be found but said it is sacred ground where tribal elders offer sacrifices and perform yearly rituals to appease their gods."
Now, Mindanao has one recognized monkey species, the common crab-eating macaque. That species isn't known for a bright red face (though that trait is known in the related Japanese macaque). So, might these red-faced monkeys be something new? A variant of the recognized macaque species? Or just a bit of local folklore? Another ethnoknown is briefly noted:
"Aside from the Uma-ay, the tribal folk also mentioned that they sighted an unnamed feathered bird that has mammalís hair.
"Just like the Uma-ay, the bird also mimics the human voice but its favorite sound is the cry of a newborn baby.
"The natives call the creature Ukang (owl) or gulus (ghost). This nocturnal bird is often heard making noise at night but only a few elders have actually seen it.
"Tribe members believe that the Uma-ay mimics the human voice to drive away the Kalumbata (monkey-eating eagle), which regularly hover in the area in search for food.
"It is said that Uma-ays would simultaneously sound their laughter to confuse the marauding eagles."
Not enough details, and most of this might be superstition masking the description. Whenever you have strange nocturnal calls, there's a potential for mistaking the identity. (News source.)
Labels: bird, ethnoknown, primates