Threatened Treasures
& the big 5

Threatened Treasures

| The big visayan five |


They are rare, unique & endangered.

To see the big visayan five, people are travelling the whole world.

endangered Tarictic Hornbill, Penelopides panini, also called Visayan Hornbill.

Read more on our page about Hornbills and their Conservation

critically endangered Walden’s Hornbill, Rhabdotorrhinus waldeni also known as Visayan Writhed-Billed Hornbill and Rufous-Headed Hornbill, locally called Dulungan, Kalaw and Talarak.

Read more about Hornbills on our hornbill page

engangered Philippine Spotted Deer, Rusa alfredi

Read more below (soon), see wiki for now


critically endangered Visayan Warty Pig, Sus cebifrons

Read more below (soon), see wiki for now

critically endangered Negros Bleeding-Heart, Gallicolumba keayi

see video of the shy negros bleeding-heart pigeon below

| species of Panay |

Amazing high Biodiversity

The last significant stands of primary, low elevation rainforest in the biogeographic region of the Western Visayas, located on the northwestern peninsula of Panay, is habitat of a range of highly endangered, partly endemic species of frogs, reptiles, birds, mammals, and invertebrates. It is one of the hotspots with the highest conservation priorities in the world, both in terms of the number of endangered flora and fauna per unit area, and the degree of threat these species confront. Philippine biodiversity per unit area is globally unsurpassed. This richness has been shaped for the most part by the complex paleogeographic history of the archipelago.

Photos by M. Paulat, E. Curio, figure composed by H. Schulze. Copyright PhilinCon.

Gallicolumba keayi
Little golden-mantled flying fox Pteropus pumilus eating fruit of dangkalan tree (Calophyllum inophyllum)
Pteropus pumilus

Little golden-mantled flying fox eating fruit of dangkalan tree (Calophyllum inophyllum)

Cacatua haematuropygia, Loriculus philippensis, Tanygnathus sumatranus everetti

Philippine Parrots: Red-vented cockatoo, hanging parrot, blue-backed parrot 

Sus cebifrons

Forest at night: The figure shows fruit bats and a pair of the endangered Visayan warty pig

Nisaetus cirrhatus

Changeable hawk-eagle, immature of light variant,
A vulnerable, yet widely distributed raptor in South Asia

Rhabdotorrhinus waldeni (Aceros leucocephalus waldeni, Aceros waldeni)

Walden´s Hornbill or Visayan writhed-billed hornbill or rufous-headed hornbill, male

Local names: Dulungan, Kalaw or Talarak. Read more: Hornbill page

More species of Panay  Some examples: an orchid, a nest with young tailorbirds, moths, a land crab, frogs and  fruits of two tree species whose pulp (red) is separated from the drupe with seed (black) - with the adaptive value of this design being its better detectability by hornbills as now discovered by Hagel & Curio (in prep.).      Photos by M. Paulat, E. Curio,  figure composed by H. Schulze
More species of panay

Some examples: the orchid Paphiopedilum hennisianum, a nest with young tailorbirds, syntomiid moths, a Geosesarma land crab, frogs, and  fruits of two tree species whose pulp (red) is separated from the drupe with seed (black). The adaptive value of this design is its better detectability by hornbills and other frugivores as now discovered by Hagel & Curio (in prep.).

Rusa alfredi, Crateromys heaneyi, Crocidura panayensis

Visayan mammal fauna also includes the Philippine spotted deer (male), the Panay cloud runner or Bushy-tailed cloud rat, and small species like this Upland shrew which has recently been described (Hutterer 2007, see our new species page). Not to scale.

Varanus mabitang

A large, black, frugivorous, arboreal monitor species (Panay Monitor Lizard), discovered on Panay by our coworker N. Paulino and described by M. Gaulke and E. Curio. The diet of this species was studied in NW Panay with the help of field observations, radio telemetry, and the analysis of feces and of stable isotopes in body tissue (dead claw tips). Accordingly, the species is predominately a vegetarian, feeding on the fruits of screw palms and some palm trees, aside from an admixture of leaves. Animal food such as crabs, insects and snails is consumed to a much lesser degree. Thus, the Panay monitor is largely a vegetarian like its closest relative, Gray’s Monitor (Varanus olivaceus) and Bitatawa Monitor (V. bitatawa) on Luzon.

| Bleeding heart |

Watch the elusive rare bleeding-heart pigeon. (By clicking on this facebook-video only then facebook can use your cookie-information.) If you want to check out mongabay click here.

| big panay monitor Lizard |

The BIOPAT Mabitang Project

Varanus mabitang

By M. Gaulke, G. Canoy & E. Curio

To learn more about the recently described Mabitang (Panay Monitor Lizard, Varanus mabitang), an endemic and highly endangered large monitor lizard from the forests of Panay, a field study was supported by BIOPAT (Biologische Patenschaften e.V., Eschborn) for a number of years. For at least two years, three different study areas have been regularly searched for this lizard and its tracks. This search was extended to still other areas of the CPMR in the GIZ/DENR driven program toward the proclamation of PAs, as defined by the occurrence of critically endangered species. Then data recorded will lead to a more profound knowledge of its population status and its biology, enabling PhilinCon to implement concrete conservation measures. At the same time, local awareness towards the uniqueness of this remarkable lizard is increased with the help of posters and educational campaigns.

Literature concerning the Mabitang. See also general publication list M. Gaulke.

| Plants |

The Narra Tree - Pterocarpus indicus

Narra and other saplings

The Narra tree (Pterocarpus indicus) is the national tree of the Philippines and is typically used by carpenters in this region because of its very durable and sturdy nature.

Description of the tree

The Narra is usually found in primary and secondary forests at low and medium altitudes throughout the Philippines although the Narra naturally prefers to grow by the sea. The wood of the tree is a rich red/rose colour, often variegated with yellow, making the wood highly favourable for timber and other ornamental uses. The Narra blooms from February to May, the orange and yellow flowers produced are borne in panicle clusters and produce winged, one-seeded legumes. The roots of the Narra tree are fibrous, extending far and wide below the body of the tree, this structure is hugely important in the holding together of the soil, preventing erosion and stabilizing the soil. The Narra tree is (falsely) believed to be traditional Asian medicine to treat a number of ailments and its flowers are particularly beneficial as a source of nectar and pollen for bees.


Nowadays the Philippines has only a small and scattered population of the Narra tree. In the last few years because of its durability as well as its many uses in construction this tree has faced mass deforestation as well as taken the brunt of illegal logging. Today the last of the Narra trees can only be found in Bicol, Panay, Mindanao, the coast of Isabela and the forests of Cagayan. Within PhillinCon we hope to conserve the Philippines national treasure and ensure that future generations of Narra tree are able to thrive.