Posted on: December 13, 2013
Author: Jose Santino S. Bunachita
Report by INQUIRER.net
Staffers of the Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary (OIWS) in Lapu-Lapu City reported the presence in the area of a rare and endangered migratory bird.
The bird, a black-faced spoonbill, was spotted last Nov. 26.
In his report, OIWS assistant superintendent Reginaldo Bueno said their staffers saw the black-faced spoonbill scavenge for food in the sanctuary’s 1,028 hectare mud flat with some Chinese Egrets.
Bueno said it was the first time the bird was seen in Cebu and the fourth time it was spotted in the entire country. The bird spent five days in the sanctuary before flying away to an undetermined location.
Isabel Montejo, Regional Executive Director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), said the black-faced spoonbill is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
“It usually spends the winter in Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, and China,” Montejo said.
The spoonbill’s known breeding sites include the western coast of the Korean peninsula, Liaoning province in mainland China and in Tumen estuary in Russia.
Outside its breeding season, these species are found on tidal mudflats, mangroves, fishpond, marshes, estuaries, swamps, lakes and other brackish wetlands.
“The recent sighting of this rare species in OIWS will become a priority in monitoring the population and period of stay. We will enforce strict protection,” Montejo said.
The black faced spoonbill was seen in the Batanes Protected Landscape and Seascape, Candaba Marsh in Pampanga in Jan. 2009.
The last time it was seen was in Cabusao, Camarines Sur last Jan. 6.
The most notable shorebirds found in the OIWS are the Asian Dowitcher, Chinese Egret, Eurasian Curlew, Whimbrel, Black-tailed Godwit and Red Knot.
From Sept. to Nov., thousands of shorebirds migrate to OIWS and up south to Australia and New Zealand after breeding in China, Russia and Alaska following the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Soon after winter, from March to May, the shorebirds begin their northward migration and thousands of them pass by OIWS en route to the breeding areas in the northern hemisphere.