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Background on the WBCP Updated Philippine Checklist

The knowledge about Philippine birds is rapidly expanding as more and more research work and data are being published. In 2003 the three leading bird checklists of the world (Howard and Moore, Sibley and Monroe, and Clements) were updated and this contributed to revisions in names, taxonomy, distribution and occurrence of
Philippine birds. Also The Asia Red Data Book on threatened birds launched by BirdLife International, contributed new data and knowledge on the 128 Philippine birds species which now are considered threatened or near-threatened with extinction.

Much of this information cannot be found in the field guide of Robert Kennedy et al from 2000 and because of this and the positive development described above, it was decided by WBCP to update the Philippine Checklist of Birds with a preliminary list. Since it unlikely that the current checklist by Dickinson et al from 1990 or the Kennedy field guide will be updated for many years, and due to the pressing nature of the need for incorporation of widely accepted revisions, Steve Pryor in Rome and myself, with contributions from Des Allen, have worked on updating the Philippine Checklist of Birds. This updated is now complete up to 2004.

Having completed this work, it is our intention to release one annual update. The next update scheduled for January 2005 will largely concentrate on new species records that have supporting documentation.

WHY IS IT NEEDED?

The intent is to have a Philippine list more closely in accord with what accepted and used by the rest of the world. This preliminary list will provide the updates of species accepted by the majority of ornithological academe, and the majority of the world's birding societies and clubs. Hopefully, it will also lead to Philippine ornithologists and birders, and also foreign visitors, starting to report their records in accordance with the latest taxonomic treatments and making them more familiar with the names used globally and their synonyms used in the Philippines.

WBCP's PRELIMINARY CHECKLIST OF PHILIPPINE BIRDS 2004

The 2004 updated preliminary list maintains the taxonomic sequence and common names used by Kennedy et al 2000 (the field guide), but taxonomic treatment follows the great work of Edward Dickinson (co-author of the first Philippine annotated checklist from 1991) as editor of the Howard and Moore 3rd edition of the Complete Checklist of the Bird of the World 2003.

A field version for you all to use and promote will soon be uploaded to the Club's web page

WHAT IS NEW ON THE LIST

To ease the understanding among you with regards to alternative names (synonym) names used outside of the Philippines, we have added some of the most relevant names in bracket. The detailed reader of the Club's new checklist will take note that we have maintained three species accepted by Kennedy et al 2000, but not by Edward Dickinson: Grand Rhabdornis, Palawan Blue Flycatcher and Striped Flowerpecker. At the other hand in the case of the treatment of Tarictic Hornbill, we have preferred not to follow Kennedy and Dickinson, but the Oriental Bird Club, Birdlife International and IUCN (based on Kemp 1995 and Sibley and Monroe updated 2003) that have split this species into 4 species.

In short, the result of this preliminary update is that the WBCP recognizes 580 Philippine bird species, including

Threatened: 71 (Critical: 12, Endangered: 14, and Vulnerable: 45)
Near-threatened: 53 (excluding Data deficient: 4)
Endemic: 180
Near-endemic: 9
Migratory: 186
Introduced: 4 (6)

SUMMARY OF CHANGES MADE

Major changes in taxonomic treatment, changes in common and Latin names, new and deleted species and selected changes in range and status that includes

A. TAXON- SPECIES LEVEL: 8
B. LATIN NAME: 58
C. SUBSPECIES: 33
D. NEW SPECIES: 9
E. DELETED SPECIES: 3
F. RANGE and STATUS: 7 TAXONOMIC CHANGES-SPECIES LEVEL

WBCP recommends that you you use this treatment and names, and report them a such:

  • From Reddish Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia phasianella
    To Philippine Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia tenuirostris

  • From Hodgson's Hawk-Cuckoo Cuculus fugax
    To Philippine Hawk-Cuckoo Cuculus pectoralis

  • From Gould's Bronze-Cuckoo Chrysococcyx russatus
    To Little Bronze-Cuckoo Chrysococcyx minutillus

  • From Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica
    To Striated Swallow Cecropis striolata

  • From Singing Bushlark Mirafra javanica
    To Australasian Bushlark (Horsfield's Bushlark) Mirafra javanica

  • From Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus
    To Fiery Minivet Pericrocotus igneus

  • From Spangled Drongo Dicrurus hottentottus
    To Hair-crested Drongo Dicrurus hottentottus

  • From Scaly Ground-Thrush Zoothera dauma
    To White's Thrush Zoothera aurea

NEW SPECIES added to the list

1. Oriental White Stork Ciconia boyciana (accidental)
2. Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus (accidental)
3. Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri (introduced – locally rare)
4. Northern Hawk-Cuckoo Cuculus hyperythrus (accidental)
5. Mindanao Tarictic Penelopides affinis (split from Tarictic Hornbill) (endemic uncommon)
6. Visayan Tarictic Penelopides panini (split from Tarictic Hornbill) (endemic - rare)
7. Mindoro Tarictic Penelopides mindorensis (split from Tarictic Hornbill) (endemic - rare)
8. Sulfur-billed Nuthatch Sitta oenochlamys (split from Velvet-fronted Nuthatch) (endemic- common)
9. Handsome Sunbird Aethopyga bella (split from Lovely Sunbird) (endemic-common)

DELETED SPECIES not included in the list

1. Chinese Francolin (introduced, since probably extirpated)
2. Daurian Partridge (introduced, since probably extirpated)
3. Oriental Bay-Owl (accidental record, unsubstantiated)

SELECTED REVISIONS IN STATUS OR RANGE

1. Black-crowned Night-heron (from migrant – uncommon to resident - locally common)
2. Masked Booby (from resident - rare to visitor - rare)
3. Sarus Crane (from resident - rare to extirpated)
4. Blue-naped Parrot (from endemic to near-endemic)
5. Philippine Hawk-Cuckoo (from resident to endemic)
6. Coleto (from endemic to near-endemic)
7. Lowland White-eye (from endemic to near-endemic)

Records Committee September 2004
Arne Jensen