Zamboanga Bulbul

zamboanga bulbul
Zamboanga Bulbul (Hypsipetes rufigularis) | @nmwsmindanao via Robert Hutchinson

Zamboanga Bulbul (Hypsipetes rufigularis)

Zamboanga Bulbul is a songbird under the family Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls).

The Zamboanga Bulbul is endemic to the Philippines and was once common in its range. It inhabits forest and forest edge and is usually seen alone, in pairs, or a small group, especially near fruiting trees. This species is very similar to the Philippine bulbul Hypsipetes philippinus, a common species with a broader range. However, the former is a bit larger.

Zamboanga bulbul is recorded only in Basilan, Malamaui and the Zamboanga Peninsula, and the Lanao provinces, particularly around Lake Lanao. Because of this, the World Conservation Union or IUCN classified the species as Near-threatened. Similarly, in the Philippines, the Philippine Redlist Committee declared the species as Vulnerable due to its narrow range and sparse population. Current data suggest that species is poorly known and needs urgent attention to study the species natural history.

In February 2021, the City of Zamboanga has passed a city ordinance declaring the Philippine Eagle and the Zamboanga Bulbul as flagship species to promote their protection and conservation.

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