Beth has just returned from Philippines where she attended the Wildlife Conservation Society of the Philippines conference, and, together with Carmela Española, started a project looking at distribution, abundance and hopes for the little-studied Philippine Duck.
|Conversion of wetlands to agriculture is placing many species under increasing threat of extinction (Photo: Beth Roberts)|
|Philippine Duck Anas luzonica (Photo: Arman Asilo)|
To gather vital basic ecological and habitat requirements of the Philippine Duck, I visited the Philippines with funding received from two MMU awards (Careers and Development award and an RKE Conference award). Dr Carmela Española and I visited four wetland habitats, two of which are Ramsar sites. Hunting continues at all sites; however, at the Ramsar sites, prosecutions for Philippine Duck hunting had been made.
|Candaba Bird Sanctuary (Photo: Beth Roberts)|
We first visited Candaba Marsh, Luzon (categorised as an IBA); an important wetland site for resident waterbirds and migratory species with recorded sightings of Baer’s Pochard Aythya baeri (Critically Endangered) and Streaked Reed-warbler Acrocephalus sorghophilus (Endangered). Candaba Bird Sanctuary, a 100-hectare private property of the former mayor Jerry Pelayo, acts as a wetland fragment in an agricultural landscape and is under threat from agriculture expansion.
Other species, such as Clamorous Reed-warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus
are found in the wetland habitats (Photo: Beth Roberts)
|Man stood on a carabou collecting birds’ eggs in the marsh (Photo: Beth Roberts)|
|The ducks were flushed from the disturbance (Photo: Beth Roberts)|
|The mangrove area at Subic Bay (Photo: Beth Roberts).|
|Naujan Lake, Mindoro Island (Photo: Beth Roberts).|
The final site was Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (175 ha), a coastal wetland within Metro Manila, and designated a Ramsar site. The area supports large numbers of resident and migratory birds (including the ‘Vulnerable’ Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes) and is a breeding site for the Philippine Duck. We found 25 Philippine Ducks using the shallow lagoons within the mangrove forest.
The area consists of many small lagoons, with dense vegetation surrounding the pools. Permits are required to visit the area (Photo: Beth Roberts)
|Chinese Egrets (Photo: Drakesketchit)|
If you would like to know more about the project please contact – Beth Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org. Collaborating on the project are Dr Carmela Española, University of the Philippines, Dr Stuart Marsden, Manchester Metropolitan University and Dr Matt Geary, University of Chester.