Bird in Cebu lands in new IUCN Red List

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Sunday, August 3, 2014


THE 2014 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species includes a species of bird that is endemic to Cebu.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) has listed the Cebu brown-dove (scientific name Phapitreron frontalis) among the critically endangered species of the world.

According to the IUCN website, the Cebu brown-dove has not been recorded with certainty since 1892.

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“Any remaining population must be tiny and is inferred to be declining owing to the effects of ongoing habitat loss and degradation. It has therefore been listed as ‘critically endangered,’ but following a possible sighting in 2004, it cannot yet be categorized as ‘extinct’ or tagged as ‘possibly extinct’ until further searches have been carried out,” read the updated IUCN list.

The sighting referred to by IUCN was those of two individuals in the Alcoy, Cebu forest, which was recorded by Lisa Paguntalan and Godfrey Jakosalem.

Full species

Jakosalem posted on his Facebook page that the species was previously considered a subspecies. “It is now a full species new to science,” he said in the post.

He said the latest development should be a challenge for Cebuanos to implement conservation measures for the species and for its habitat.

According to the IUCN, the bird’s habitat, the remaining forests of Cebu, are threatened by “illegal settlement, road construction, shifting cultivation, illicit logging, charcoal making, firewood collection and habitat clearance for mining.” It noted that Cebu retained only .03 percent of its original forest cover.

The bird conservation group Audubon Society stresses the need for better information and bird species identification.

“That some of the newly identified species are already on the Red List underscores the importance of better information and bird species identification. In other words, if we don't know a species exists, we can't protect it,” states a July 24, 2013 Audubon Magazine article by Clara Chaisson.

The other bird species that are new to science and are already in the 2014 IUCN Red List are the Belem Curassow (Crax pinima) in Amazonia, Brazil; Sira Curassow (Pauxi koepckeae) of Peru; Somali Ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes) of northeast Africa; Sangihe Dwarf-kingfisher (Ceyx sangirensis) of Indonesia; Desertas Petrel (Pterodroma deserta) in the Portuguese Desertas Islands archipelago; Javan Flameback (Chrysocolaptes strictus) of Indonesia; Blue-bearded Helmetcrest (Oxypogon cyanolaemus) of Northeast Columbia; and the Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher (Alcedo euryzona) in Indonesia. (LAP)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 03, 2014.

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