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Threatened treasures - rare, endemic and newly discovered species of Panay

See also our page about  recently discovered taxa and new distributional records

The last significant stands of primary, low elevation rainforest in the biogeographic region of the West Visayas, located on the northwestern peninsula of Panay, is habitat of a range of highly endangered, partly endemic species of reptiles, birds and mammals. It is one of the areas with highest conservation priorities in the world, both in terms of the number of endangered animals per unit area, and the degree of threat these species confront.

Some examples

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Visayan writhed-billed hornbill, male
Aceros waldeni
Local names: dulungan, kalaw 

A threatened species important for seed dispersal.
See our page about hornbill conservation by the PESCP

Publications about seed dispersal and its role in forest regeneration by PESCP

Publications about hornbills by PESCP

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Negros bleeding-heart pigeon
Gallicolumba keayi

Publications about bleeding-heart pigeons and their ecological importance by PESCP


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Philippine parrots: Red-vented cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia), Hanging parrot (Loriculus philippensis), Blue-backed parrot (Tanygnathus sumatranus everetti)

Photos: cockatoo courtesy M. Boussekey, others courtesy T. Arndt


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Little golden-mantled flying fox
Pteropus pumilus eating fruit of Dangkalan tree (Calophyllum inophyllum)

Publications about fruit-bats and their ecological importance by PESCP

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Changeable hawk-eagle, immature of light variant
Spizaetus cirrhatus

A vulnerable, yet widely distributed raptor in  South Asia

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New species: 

Panay monitor
Varanus mabitang
Local name: mabitang 

A large, black, frugivorous, arboreal monitor species, discovered on Panay by PESCP coworker N. Paulino and described by M. Gaulke and E. Curio. 
The diet of this species was studied in NW Panay with the help of field observations, the analysis of feces and of stable isotopes in body tissue (dead claw tips). Accordingly the species is predominately a vegetarian, feeding on the fruits of screw palms and some palm trees, aside from an admixture of leaves. Animal food such as crabs, insects and snails is consumed to a much lesser degree. Thus, the Panay Monitor is largely a vegetarian like its closest relative, Gray's Monitor on Luzon.

Publications about the Panay monitor or mabitang

Project information

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Forest at night

The figure shows fruit bats and a pair of the endangered 
Visayan warty pig, Sus cebifrons


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Visayan mammal fauna also includes the Philippine spotted deer (Cervus alfredi, male), the Panay cloud runner or bushy-tailed cloud rat (Crateromys heaneyi) and small species like this upland shrew (Crocidura panayensis) which has recently been described (Hutterer 2007, see our new species page). Not to scale.

Publications about other species by the PESCP


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More species of Panay

Some examples: an orchid, a nest with young tailorbirds, moths, a land crab, frogs and  fruits of two tree species whose pulp (red) is separated from the drupe with seed (black) - with the adaptive value of this design being its better detectability by hornbills as now discovered by Hagel & Curio.  

Photos by M. Paulat, E. Curio, 
figure composed by H. Schulze 


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Philippine Endemic Species Conservation Project - Conservation Biology Unit, Ruhr-University Bochum
Last amendment: 13 December 2010