Negros and Panay

Country/Territory Philippines
Area 29,000 km2
Altitude 0 - 2000m
Priority critical
Habitat loss severe
Knowledge incomplete

General characteristics

This EBA covers the central Philippine islands of Negros, Guimaras and Panay, which are all politically part of the Visayas (see also EBAs 153 and 154). The smaller islands of Masbate and Ticao are also included because-although only one restricted-range species, Penelopides panini, occurs or occurred there (and they could, therefore, have been treated as a Secondary Area)-there are many subspecies endemic to this group of islands as a whole (Brooks et al. 1992). However, Sibuyan, Romblon and Tablas in the north and Siquijor in the south are treated as Secondary Areas (s095 and s096) because their biogeographic affinities are less clear.

The islands would once have been completely covered in forest including tropical lowland evergreen rain forest to c.400 m, giving way to a more open forest at 650-1,000 m and upwards, with mossy forest usually over 1,200 m (Collins et al. 1991, Dickinson et al. 1991).

Restricted-range species

All the EBA's restricted-range species are forest birds and a few have been recorded from degraded or secondary forest. Most species occur below 1,200 m, apart from Stachyris latistriata and S. nigrorum which only occur above 1,000 m.

The restricted-range species show a variety of distribution patterns between the islands (see 'Distribution patterns' table), with the recently discovered Stachyris latistriata being present on Panay only (Gonzales and Kennedy 1990) and two species-Ptilinopus arcanus and S. nigrorum-present on Negros only. Four species may be extinct on Negros (Ptilinopus arcanus last seen in 1953, Muscicapa randi in 1877, Hypothymis coelestis in 1959 and Erythrura viridifacies in 1965), and it is likely that the five restricted-range species which have been recorded on Guimaras are also extinct on this island. Recent range extensions include Dicaeum retrocinctum (previously treated as endemic to Mindoro, EBA 150), which has been sighted twice on Negros during 1993-1994 and nine times on Panay in 1992 (Curio 1994, Curio et al. 1996, N. A. D. Mallari verbally 1995), and Lanius validirostris and Erythrura viridifacies which have recently been recorded from Panay (N. A. D. Mallari verbally 1996).

Species IUCN Category
Negros Bleeding-heart (Gallicolumba keayi) CR
Negros Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus arcanus) CR
Philippine Spinetail (Mearnsia picina) NT
Spotted Buttonquail (Turnix ocellatus) LC
Rufous-headed Hornbill (Rhabdotorrhinus waldeni) CR
Visayan Hornbill (Penelopides panini) EN
White-winged Cicadabird (Edolisoma ostentum) VU
Celestial Monarch (Hypothymis coelestis) VU
Mountain Shrike (Lanius validirostris) LC
Flame-templed Babbler (Dasycrotapha speciosa) EN
Panay Striped Babbler (Zosterornis latistriatus) LC
Negros Striped Babbler (Zosterornis nigrorum) EN
Ashy-breasted Flycatcher (Muscicapa randi) VU
White-throated Jungle-flycatcher (Vauriella albigularis) EN
Black-belted Flowerpecker (Dicaeum haematostictum) LC
Scarlet-collared Flowerpecker (Dicaeum retrocinctum) VU
Green-faced Parrotfinch (Erythrura viridifacies) VU

Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
IBA Code Site Name Country
PH060 North-west Panay peninsula (Pandan) Philippines
PH061 Central Panay mountains Philippines
PH062 Mount Silay and Mount Mandalagan (Northern Negros) Philippines
PH063 Mount Kanla-on Natural Park Philippines
PH064 Ban-ban Philippines
PH065 Southwestern Negros Philippines
PH066 Cuernos de Negros Philippines

Threat and conservation

The western Visayas have been almost totally deforested. According to satellite data from 1988, forest covers only 4% of Negros and 8% of Panay (but much of this is montane and mossy forest above 1,000 m), and there are no significant areas left on Masbate, Ticao or Guimaras (Dickinson et al. 1991, Brooks et al. 1992). There are, however, forest remnants (which may not show up on satellite maps) on hill-tops, e.g. along the whole of Ticao where Penelopides panini may yet survive (E. Curio in litt. 1993). Although logging for commercial purposes is illegal in this EBA, clearance of forest for subsistence agriculture (known as 'kaingin') and small-scale logging for domestic use still continue (Brooks et al. 1992).

Inevitably, all the restricted-range species in this EBA are extremely threatened by further loss and fragmentation of forest, with hunting exacerbating the situation for some birds: five endemic species are classified as Critical (the highest number in any EBA in the south-east Asian region). For example, Aceros waldeni which appears to have been hunted out from large parts of Panay (Curio et al. 1996), is presumed extinct from Guimaras (given the near-total forest clearance), and was recorded in 1991 on Negros for the first time in 80 years-though only one pair at a single locality.

Several other widespread forest threatened species occur (or have been recorded) in the EBA: Philippine Hawk-eagle Spizaetus philippensis (Vulnerable), Spotted Imperial-pigeon Ducula carola (Vulnerable), Philippine Cockatoo Cacatua haematuropygia (Critical), Blue-naped Parrot Tanygnathus lucionensis (Endangered) and Rufous-lored Kingfisher Todirhamphus winchelli (Endangered).

There is one protected area-at Mt Canlaon on Negros-but its national park status has not prevented the total clearance of the lower slopes, and there is only one sector of forest, Mambucal, which reaches down to 750 m (Brooks et al. 1992, Lambert 1993a). Brooks et al. (1992) propose protection of the remaining forest at Ban-ban (for the preservation of Rhinomyias albigularis in particular) and suggest additional field surveys in a number of areas including Mts Mandalagan and Silay in northern Negros, and Mt Talinis (and the nearby Lake Balinsasayao area) in the south. On Panay, Mts Madja-as and Baloy are important sites which will be covered by the proposed Panay Mountains National Park (J. Hornbuckle in litt. 1996). Further recommendations are in Curio (1994).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Negros and Panay. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/01/2023.