Key Unprotected Sites in Asia
More than 100 sites are critically important for globally threatened birds but remain unprotected, and should therefore be a major priority for action. Some examples of these sites are given below.
Okinawa endemics exposed at Yamburu
The forests at Yambaru in northern Okinawa, Japan are only partially protected, despite the fact that they support two bird species that are found nowhere else, the Critically Endangered Okinawa Woodpecker Sapheopipo noguchii and the Endangered Okinawa Rail Gallirallus okinawae.
Russia’s boreal forests opened to exploitation
The Bikin river basin in south-east Russia supports the largest known populations of the Endangered Scaly-sided Merganser Mergus squamatus and Blakiston’s Fish-owl Ketupa blakistoni. The boreal forest habitat of these birds is coming under increasing pressure from development and logging, as the recent political changes in Russia are allowing greater access to foreign companies.
Oil palms threaten Gurney’s Pitta in Myanmar
Gurney’s Pitta Pitta gurneyi was known from a single site in peninsular Thailand until its rediscovery in Southern Taninthayri Division, Myanmar in early 2003. None of its habitat in Myanmar is protected, and much of it is scheduled to be converted to oil palm plantations, and there is therefore an urgent need to establish new protected areas.
Best hope for Mindoro’s lowland endemics
Siburan is the largest tract of lowland forest on the Philippine island of Mindoro, and is the best hope for the survival of three lowland specialists that are unique to the island, the Critically Endangered Mindoro Bleeding-heart Gallicolumba platenae and Black-hooded Coucal Centropus steerii, and the Endangered Mindoro Tarictic Penelopides mindorensis.
Tawitawi, bleeding heart of Sulu Archipelago
Tawitawi island is in the Sulu Archipelago in the southern Philippines, and supports three Critically Endangered (Sulu Bleeding-heart Gallicolumba menagei, Tawitawi Brown-dove Phapitreron cinereiceps and Sulu Hornbill Anthracoceros montani) and one Endangered (Blue-winged Racquet-tail Prioniturus verticalis) species that are unique to the Sulu Archipelago, as well as an important population of the Critically Endangered Philippine Cockatoo Cacatua haematuropygia.
Last natural forest on Sangihe
The small island of Sangihe lies off northern Sulawesi. The last significant area of natural forest on the island is on the slopes of Gunung Sahendaruman, and is particularly notable because it supports three Critically Endangered species that are found nowhere else (Caerulean Paradise-flycatcher Eutrichomyias rowleyi, Sangihe Shrike-thrush Colluricincla sanghirensis and Sangihe White-eye Zosterops nehrkorni), plus two Endangered species that are confined to the island (Sangihe Hanging-parrot Loriculus catamene and Elegant Sunbird Aethopyga duyvenbodei).
Flores parrot hangs in the balance
The forest at Mbeliling on the Indonesian island of Flores supports important populations of the Endangered Flores Hanging-parrot Loriculus flosculus, Flores Monarch Monarcha sacerdotum and Flores Crow Corvus florensis, all of which are unique to the island.
White eyes, black lores and blue fronts on Buru
The Endangered Rufous-throated White-eye Madanga ruficollis and the Vulnerable Black-lored Parrot Tanygnathus gramineus are known only from the unprotected forests at Kapalat Mada on the Indonesian island of Buru, and this is probably also an important site for the Critically Endangered Blue-fronted Lorikeet Charmosyna toxopei.
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