Palawan flycatcher (Ficedula platenae)

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Palawan flycatcher
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Palawan flycatcher fact file

Palawan flycatcher description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderPasseriformes
FamilyMuscicapidae
GenusFicedula (1)

This is a tiny, short-tailed flycatcher most often seen perching on low vines (3). The deep rufous-brown of the head and upperparts contrast with the bright chestnut colour of the tail and orange of the breast (2). This orange fades to a paler buff colour on the throat and into white on the lower breast and belly (3).

Size
Size: 11 – 12 cm (2)
Weight
11 – 13 g (2)
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Palawan flycatcher biology

This shy, secretive bird is easily overlooked and little is known about its biology. Records do exist of this species foraging in dense tangled undergrowth in vines, rattan and climbing bamboo, rarely more than 10 metres from the ground (2). The diet is not well understood but, as its name suggests, the Palawan flycatcher is known to feed on insects and other small invertebrates (2) (4).

The breeding season is thought to last from May to at least September, possibly later, but no other information on this species’ reproductive biology is available (2) (4).

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Palawan flycatcher range

Endemic to Palawan and some of its satellite islands in the Philippines (3).

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Palawan flycatcher habitat

Found in lowland primary forest as well as some secondary growth up to at least 650 metres above sea level, and possibly up to 1,000 metres (2) (4). The Palawan flycatcher is believed to occupy the forest understorey up to 10 metres from the ground, with a preference for rattan and understorey palms, although it is possible that this small species has simply gone unobserved in the canopy (3) (4).

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Palawan flycatcher status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable

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Palawan flycatcher threats

With such a small range that is being rapidly reduced by ongoing clearance, degradation and fragmentation of its lowland forest habitat, the Palawan flycatcher is considered vulnerable to extinction. Habitat destruction has been extensive on Palawan and logging and mining concessions have been granted for most remaining forest tracts on the island. Furthermore, illegal logging is thought to continue across much of the south of the island (3). However, the small populations on the tiny satellite islands of Pangulasian and Lagen appear relatively secure (3) (4).

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Palawan flycatcher conservation

In 1990, the whole of Palawan was designated a Biosphere Reserve, although enforcement of laws on habitat alteration and hunting has proven difficult. The Palawan flycatcher also occurs in St Paul’s Subterranean River National Park, which is actively managed and protected by the local government of Palawan and may soon be significantly extended to the east (3).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
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Find out more

For more information on the Palawan flycatcher see:

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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

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Glossary

Endemic
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
Invertebrates
Animals with no backbone.
Primary forest
Forest that has remained undisturbed for a long time and has reached a mature condition.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (May, 2008)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (2006) Handbook of the Birds of the World – Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers. Vol. 11. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  3. BirdLife International (March, 2007)
    http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/ebas/index.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=6531&m=0
  4. BirdLife International. (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.
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Image credit

Palawan flycatcher  
Palawan flycatcher

© Jon Hornbuckle

Jon Hornbuckle
jonhornbuckle@yahoo.com

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