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Palawan Flycatcher Ficedula platenae
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This flycatcher has a small range which is rapidly declining as a result of continuing clearance, degradation and fragmentation of lowland primary forest habitats. As such, it is suspected that its population is declining rapidly, and is therefore listed as Vulnerable.

Taxonomic source(s)
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Taxonomic note

12 cm. Small, short-tailed, skulking flycatcher. Rufescent-brown head and upperparts becoming bright chestnut on uppertail-coverts and tail. Greyish lores, eye appears large and dark. Pale orange throat grading into brighter orange breast. White lower breast and belly. Similar spp. Female Palawan Blue Flycatcher Cyornis lemprieri is larger, duller and shows pale buff lores and eye-ring. Voice Simple high-pitched phrases wee-tee or wee-tee-tee, often followed by a buzzing trill. Hints Usually perches low, often on vines. Sings most at first light.

Distribution and population
Ficedula platenae is endemic to Palawan and some of its satellite islands in the Philippines. Since the late 19th century it has generally been described as uncommon or rare. Since 1980, there have been records from fewer than 10 sites. It may be easily overlooked during brief surveys and is likely to be localised (F. Lambert in litt. 2012). Three specimens obtained on Mt Victoria in three days in 1990, and several birds heard over a few days in 1997 at Iwahig penal colony, as well as more recent observations (F. Lambert in litt. 2012) at Iwahig penal colony, again suggest that it may have been under-recorded.

Population justification
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 10,000-19,999 individuals. This equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
A rapid and on-going population decline is suspected to be occurring, consistent with rates of deforestation throughout the species's range.

It inhabits the lower storeys, up to 10 m from the ground, of lowland primary forest up to at least 650 m, possibly favouring areas rich in rattan, bamboo and understorey palms; suggesting it may tolerate secondary or degraded forests (R. Hutchinson in litt. 2012). However, although it has also been recorded in secondary growth, observations suggest it is sensitive to habitat modification.

Lowland forest loss, degradation and fragmentation have been extensive and are ongoing on Palawan and logging and mining concessions have been granted for most remaining forest tracts on the island. Illegal logging is thought to persist across much of the south. Forest at Iwahig penal colony, a key site, may be threatened by plans to mine chromite. The small populations on the tiny islands of Pangulasian and Lagen appear relatively secure.

Conservation Actions Underway
The entire island of Palawan was designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 1990, although the legislation controlling habitat alteration and hunting is difficult to enforce effectively. It occurs in one protected area, St Paul's Subterranean River National Park, which may soon be significantly extended to the east. The Iwahig penal colony is managed by the Bureau of Prisons but lacks official protection and management.
Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys in remaining lowland forests, using mist-netting and tape-playback to aid detection, in order to clarify its current distribution, population status and assess its habitat preferences, including tolerance of degradation. Support the proposed extension of St Paul's Subterranean River National Park. Formally protect forests at Iwahig and other key sites in the Victoria and Anapalan ranges.

BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Gilroy, J., Derhé, M.

Tabaranza, B., Lambert, F., Hutchinson, R.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Ficedula platenae. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Palawan flycatcher (Ficedula platenae) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Muscicapidae (Chats and Old World flycatchers)
Species name author (Blasius, 1888)
Population size 6000-15000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 11,500 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species