Philippine Leafbird Chloropsis flavipennis


Justification of Red List Category
This lowland forest species has a small population and is known recently from just two sites. It is assumed to be undergoing a rapid decline as a result of habitat loss, and populations are likely to be severely fragmented. It is therefore listed as Vulnerable.

Population justification
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 1,000-2,499 individuals. This equates to 667-1,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 600-1,700 mature individuals.

Trend justification
A rapid and on-going population decline is suspected to be occurring, owing to the extensive loss and degradation of lowland forests throughout the species's range.

Distribution and population

Chloropsis flavipennis is endemic to the Philippines, where it is known from Samar, Leyte, Cebu and Mindanao (Collar et al. 1999). It has been variously considered rare or very rare (historically) to uncommon but secretive (recently). However, there are post-1980 records from just two localities, Bislig, where it appears not uncommon, and Lake Sebu (both on Mindanao). On Samar and Leyte its current status is unknown. It was last recorded on each island in 1970 and 1964 respectively. It is presumed extinct on Cebu where it was last seen in 1920.


It inhabits primary forest but also frequents secondary forest, forest edge and degraded habitats below 1,000 m, although there are three records up to 1,270 m.


Its whole range has suffered extensive lowland deforestation. In 1988, forest cover had been reduced to an estimated 29% on Mindanao, most of it above 1,000 m. Most remaining lowland forest is leased to logging concessions or mining applications. In 1989, it was estimated that on Samar and Leyte only 433 km2 of old-growth dipterocarp forest remained. The near-total clearance of forest on Cebu undoubtedly caused its extinction there. At the key site of Bislig, forest is being cleared under concession and re-planted with exotic trees for paper production.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
There have been no records from protected areas since 1966. Prior to this, it was recorded from sites now encompassed within Mt Kitanglad National Park, where most forest below 1,200 m has now been cleared, Mt Hilong-hilong Watershed Reserve and the Mt Matutum Forest Reserve, which has been proposed as a national park.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Identify and survey remaining lowland forest tracts on Samar, Leyte and in poorly known areas of Mindanao, to establish its current distribution and population status. Propose key sites (following surveys) for urgent establishment as protected areas. Study the habitat requirements of the species, with particular reference to the extent of reliance on primary forest habitats.


18 cm. Small-medium, green, canopy-dwelling passerine. Entire plumage bright green except for yellow eye-ring, throat and line on closed wing formed by yellow primary fringes. Dark bill, iris and legs. Voice Short, loud melodious phrases such as whit-too-whee and see-tee-wee-oo. Hints Frequents canopy where often first noticed by song. Best looked for in flowering trees. Also joins mixed feeding flocks.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Gilroy, J., Taylor, J.

Allen, D.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Chloropsis flavipennis. Downloaded from on 12/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 12/08/2022.