18 species sighted for the first time in Mindoro

A Black-crowned Night Heron PHOTO BY J KAHLIL PANOPIO

A Black-crowned Night Heron PHOTO BY J KAHLIL PANOPIO

A number of animal species are sighted anew in several areas in Mindoro, two of which are documented for the first time in the Philippines.

Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. (MBCFI) recorded 18 new animal species at Apo Reef Natural Park in Mt. Siburan, Naujan Lake National Park, Mt. Calavite Wildlife Sanctuary, and Ilin Island.

The discoveries—including one snake, three bats, three fish and 11 birds—were revealed during the launch of New Faunal Species Records in Mindoro last January.

The birds sighted were Oriental Cuckoo, Barred Rail, Pacific Golden Plover, Oriental Pratincole, Brown Booby, Hoopoe, Mantanani Scops Owl, Green-faced Parrotfinch, Black-crowned night heron, Black Bulbul, Asian Paradise Flycatcher. Two of these, the Asian Paradise Flycatcher and Black Bulbul, are recorded for the first time in the Philippines.

Haribon Foundation researcher J. Kahlil Panopio and his guide Archie Gutierrez also observed and recorded a pair of Green-faced Parrotfinch perched on top of a tree. The pair of parrots stayed for a few minutes allowing visual identification using a bird field guide. According to the Kennedy et al.’s (2001) field guide for identifying Philippine birds, the Green-faced Parrotfinch has never been recorded in Mindoro.

“I was kind of hesitant writing down my identification of the species because the field guide says it wasn’t recorded in Mindoro but Archie and I still wrote it down because we were pretty confident that the birds fit the characteristics of the species,” said Panopio.

On the other hand, the new species of bats were Mindoro Stripe-faced Fruitbat, Hairy-winged Bat, and Orange-fingred Myotis.

The rats discovered were the Ragged-tail Pipefish, Broadhead Sleeper Goby, and Goby. Finally, the lone snake specie found was the Banded File Snake.

Mindoro Island is recognized as one of the global biodiversity conservation priority areas, particularly in terms of the number of endemic species, diversity of habitats and degrees of threats.


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