13 December 2015

Philippine bird festival highlights Subic Bay's endangered parrot

The Green Racquet-tail (Prionitirus luconensis), an endangered parrot species making its last stand in Subic Bay, takes the spotlight in the 10th Philippine Bird Festival in Balanga City, Bataan.

With the theme “Ibon at Kalikasan, Kayamanan ng Bayan (Birds and Nature, Our Nation’s Treasure),” the Philippine Bird Festival aims to raise awareness and appreciation of Philippine birds. The vulnerable Green Racquet-tail is featured as the logo of this year's bird festival.

The last remaining population of Green Racquet-tails is found within the protected Subic Bay Forest Reserve.

This species is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), meaning that any international trade in the Green Racquet-Tail should be carefully monitored.

Despite these measures, this bird remains vulnerable to extinction and further measures, such as the protection of other key populations and improved efforts to prevent illegal logging, have been recommended.

The 10th Phiippine Bird Festival is spearheaded by the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP), a non-government organization promoting recreational birdwatching and the responsible enjoyment of nature.

“The main purpose of the bird fair is to showcase what birds are for, their ecological effect and contribution,” said WBCP President Gina Mapua, who pointed out that birds are good indicators of how healthy the environment is.

Speaking at the recent launching of the event, Mapua said: “Without birds, there will be no forests – they are main planters of our forests. They are our ecological friends.”

“What we’re trying to push is the protection of birds because they protect us,” she added.

Every year, the festival, in partnership with local government units (LGUs), academic institutions and environment conservation groups, goes to various places in the country to highlight bird species unique in every island.  (SNL)

Click here more information on the Green-Racquet Tail

A Green Racquet-Tail seen at the Nabasan area in Subic Bay. Named to be so because of its racquet-like tail extensions. This species has been uplisted to Endangered on the basis that its population is estimated to be very small, and thus less numerous than previously thought. (photo courtesy of manilaoldtimer.net)

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