RARE BIRDS FOUND IN PANAY
Iloilo City, Nov. 18, 1997 - Four of 16 critically endangered bird species have been found in the mountains of Panay island by a group of German conservationists. Also discovered by the Germans, who have been conducting research in the region for four years, were several threatened bird species.
The four critically endangered species sighted are: Writhed Billed Hornbill, Visayan Tarictic Hornbill, Bleeding Heart Pigeon and White-throated Jungle Flycatcher.
The sightings were made in what the scholars describe as "the last relatively significant tract of low elevation forest in the Western Visayas, if not in the whole country."
Yves de Soye, team leader of the Philippine Endemic Species Conservation Project, said his group started the research in Negros Island in 1995 but moved too Panay Island after they discovered he rare lowland forest in northwest Panay.
The project also educates local residents within the study site about the importance of preserving the environment, specifically the habitat of the rare and critically endangered species.
The conservation project is undertaken by the Frankfurt Zoological Society and the Animal Research Group of Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany with the support of the Philippine government through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The study area straddles the municipalities of Libertad and Pandan in Antique province, and Burunga, Nabad and Malay in Aklan, covering 2,500 to 5,000 hectares of old growth forest ranging in elevation from 200 meters to 910 meters at its highest peak.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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