Endangered Birds of the Philippines


   Of the 400 or so resident species of birds in the Philippines, several are now very rare and a good number are greatly endangered. There are several causes for this but the most common are:

  1. They are large, easily seen birds and thus vulnerable to being shot;
  2. They are trapped for pets or food;
  3. Their habitat has been destroyed, especially lowland virgin forest; and
  4. They are restricted to one or two islands.
   The Cebu flowerpecker is presumed extinct due probably to the complete destruction of forest in Cebu. 

   The plight of the Philippine eagle is well known. Now confined to Leyte, Samar and to portions of Luzon and Mindanao, it has been reduced to some 100 to 300 in number by the destruction of its forest habitat and by collection and hunting.

   Many birds are consistently caught for pets and cage display and none more so than members of the parrot family. The most seriously threatened is the endemic Philippine cockatoo, once common throughout the Philippines. It is now restricted to Palawan, the Sulu Archipelago and one or two remote areas in Mindanao.

   The Palawan peacock pheasant is restricted to the forests of Palawan and subject to intense pressure from trappers seeking them for food and export to foreign collections and zoos. The bird has a low reproduction rate laying only two eggs to a clutch, making recovery very slow.

   Perhaps the greatest overall threat to bird life is the destruction of the primary forest to which all but a few of the endemic species belong. Many of these species are restricted to one island where the forest is rapidly disappearing. This is especially true of Mindoro and Negros where birds such as the Mindoro imperial pigeon, Mindoro and Negros bleeding-hearts, and Negros fruit dove are becoming or are very rare. The Sulu hornbill, restricted to Jolo, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi in the Sulu Archipelago, is subject to indiscriminate shooting and is now increasingly uncommon and in some places, scarce.

   The island of Cebu has already lost its primary forest and consequently one species and several subspecies have become extinct. The Cebu black shama has managed to survive in very small numbers due to its preference for bamboo groves which still remain in some areas.

Paintings of Endangered Birds

Other Birds Considered Endangered by the IUCN

Critically endangered birds in RED
FAMILY COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME
Ardeidae Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes
Threskiornixthidae Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor
Rallidae Brown-banded Rail Lewinia mirificus
Scolopacidae Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer
Laridae Chinese Crested Tern Sterna bernsteini
Columbidae Negros Fruit Dove Ptilinopus arcanus
  Mindoro Bleeding Heart Pigeon Gallicolumba platenae
  Negros Bleeding Heart Pigeon Gallicolumba keayi
  Sulu Bleeding Heart Pigeon Gallicolumba menagei
Psittacidae Johnstone's Lory ?
  Green-headed Racket-tailed Parrot Prioniturus luconensis
  Blue-naped Parrot Tanygnathus lucionensis
  Blue-winged Racket-tailed Parrot Prioniturus verticalis
Cuculidae Black-hooded Coucal Centropus steerii
Strigidae Philippine Eagle Owl Bubo philippensis
  Giant Scops Owl Mimizuku gurneyi
Alcendinidae Rufous-lored Kingfisher Todisrhamphus winchelli
  Silvery Kingfisher Alcedo argentata
Bucerotidae Rufous-tailed Hornbill Penelopides panini
  Writhed Hornbill Aceros leucocephalus
  Writhed-billed Hornbill Aceros waldeni
  Mindoro Hornbill Penelopides mindorensis
Pycnonotidae Streaked-breasted Bulbul Ixos siquijorensis
Turdidae Luzon Water Redstart Rhyacornis bicolor
  Ashy Thrush Zoothera cinerea
Muscicapidae White-throated Jungle Flycatcher Rhinomyias albigularies
  White-browed Jungle Flycatcher Rhinomyias insignis
  Celestial Blue Monarch Hypothymis coelestis
  Palawan flycatcher Ficedula platenae
  Furtive Flycatcher Ficedula disposita
  Ashy-breasted Flycatcher Muscicapa randi
Timaliidae Flame-templed Babbler Stachyris speciosa
  Melodious Babbler Malacopteron palawanense
  Falcated Wren-babbler Ptilocichla falcata
  Negros Tree Babbler Stachyris nigrorum
Estrildidae Green-faced Parrot-finch Erythrura viridifacies
Oriolidae Isabella Oriole Oriolus isabellae
Dicaeidae Cebu Flowerpecker Dicaeum quadricolor
  Visayan Flowerpecker Dicaeum haematostictum
  Scarlet-collared Flowerpecker Dicaeum retrocinctum
Irenidae Philippine Leafbird Chloropsis flavipennis




1