Tawitawi Brown Dove
Phapitreron cinereiceps

This recently recognized species qualifies as Critical. It is predicted to undergo an extremely rapid population reduction in the immediate future based on a decline in the extent and quality of the remaining tiny fragments of forest within its very small range.


Range Map for Tawitawi Brown-dove

In 1994, remaining primary forest on Tawitawi was being rapidly cleared, and the remaining areas of forest were highly degraded and recently logged. In 1996, there were plans to replace even these with oil-palm plantations. Logging of the few remaining tracts, now confined to rugged, mountainous areas, is likely to be followed by uncontrolled settlement and conversion to agriculture. Only very small areas of heavily degraded low-stature forest remain on Sanga-sanga. Hunting and trapping are no longer considered threats, but may have caused a substantial decline during martial law in the 1970s.

Military activity and insurgency continue to present a serious obstacle to general conservation activity in the Sulus. There are no protected areas in the archipelago. However, the species occurs in a 3 km2 tract of forest at Tarawakan which receives some protection from an agricultural college. A project proposal exists to provide conservation funding for the Tawitawi/Sulu Coastal Area. In 1997, a public awareness campaign focusing on the conservation of terrestrial biodiversity on Tawitawi was initiated.

*Conduct an intensive survey in remaining forests to identify further key sites. *Determine its ecological requirements, particularly tolerance of degraded habitats. *Urgently protect remaining forest around Buan and Tarawakan on Tawitawi, and any further sites found to support the species. *Incorporate protective measures relevant to the species within conservation funding proposals for the Tawitawi/Sulu Coastal Area, as and where appropriate. *Continue and expand environmental awareness programmes in the Sulu archipelago.

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