Rarely-heard recordings of birdsong from the biodiversity hotspot of Madagascar have been compiled and released by the British Library.

Giant coua. Image: Wim van der Schot

The 127 Madagascar birds featured on its new CD include threatened species such as the long-tailed ground-roller and Benson’s rock thrush.

Conservationists prize the island for its unique species, notably lemurs.

But deforestation and destruction of other habitats is taking many towards the brink of extinction.

Most of the bird recordings have never before been published.

Among the unusual calls are the drumming sounds of a Madagascar snipe, the screeching alarm of the red-capped coua, and the "rattle and whistle" duet of the white-throated oxylabes.

The call of the red-shouldered vanga was recorded in 1997 on the occasion of the species’ first reported observation in the wild.

The British Library Sound Archive compiled its CD with the environment group Conservation International which is heavily involved in projects aiming to conserve Madagascar’s unique biological legacy.

Benson's rock thrush. Image: Wim van der Schot