Philippine cockatoos, also known as red-vented cockatoos, only live in the rainforests and mangrove swamps of the Palawan archipelago, in the Philippines. The ZooParc de Beauval shelters one of the most important European population of this species and manages the European Endangered species Programme (EEP) dedicated to it.

An endangered species

During the last decades, Philippine cockatoos have almost become extinct. In 1998, only about twenty individuals were observed on Rasa, a small coral island located near the Palawan east coast. The reasons of this decline are numerous:

  • the destruction of their habitat, notably of the trees in which they nest and feed
  • their killing by farmers who consider the birds as detrimental to their cultures
  • their capture for the exotic pet trade
  • tropical storms

This very rare cockatoo is now one of the parrots the most endangered in the wild.

Conservation actions

In order to better protect the species and its habitat, Beauval Nature supports the Katala foundation in the Philippines.

Listed as “Critically Endangered" by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) since 1994, the Philippine cockatoo has seen its numbers increase slowly in recent years thanks to many actions paid off :

  • Rasa Island, where the highest density of cockatoos is recorded, has been classified as a natural reserve
  • a great reforestation campaign of the island has been organized with the help of the local populations
  • many young suffering from hunger have been rescued and transferred on another part of the island
  • a ranger network made up of former poachers has been successfully created: the local bird population has increased from 20 to 200 individuals. This network has been extended to other islands, where municipal reserves have been created.

… and the efforts continue!

  • a plan to reintroduce the species in its original distributional range has been proposed to the SOS organization (Save Our Species) and accepted by it
  • the cockatoo populations of Rasa and Dumaran are still followed up. On Rasa, 200 birds have been recorded in January 2012, among which 174 stayed for the breeding season: 46 young have thus come into the world, making the island a reproduction hotspot for the species. On Dumaran, an island suffering from intensive logging, the Katala foundation works to prevent a large-scale plantation project from being carried out, since it would damage even more the ecosystems of the island.
  • by supporting the Polillo Islands Parrot Project, the Katala foundation is extending the protection of Philippine cockatoos to the Polillo Islands, where the populations are now followed up. Thanks to local partnerships, the law is now better enforced and information campaigns are carried out in the region.

Victory on Narra

Early in 2013, Beauval supported a petition willing to prevent a coal plant from being built on Narra Island, the main habitat of the Philippine cockatoo. In addition to this mobilisation, the will and tenacity of the mayor of Narra, Lucena Diaz Demaala, have enabled to relocate the building and thus save the cockatoo’s habitat. The members of Beauval Nature salute the action of a woman engaged in the preservation of the fauna and flora of her country.

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