Avifauna composition and communities in Leyte Sab-a Basin Peatland and its vicinity in Northeastern Leyte, Philippines

Leyte Sab-a Basin Peatland (LSBP) is one of the two confirmed peatlands in the Philippines threatened by land-use conversion and degradation. No published study has investigated the degradation of LSBP and its impact on the species diversity of the avian community. We conducted a rapid assessment of bird presence in the four sites (Alangalang, Sta Fe, San Miguel, and Tacloban). Species richness data were measured based on a combination of transect walks, opportunistic listing, acoustic surveys, and vantage point observation in forest edges and inside the LSBP areas. Secondary data were collated from different literature, websites, and available publications to form a unified field checklist of avifauna. We recorded 67 avifauna species from 37 families/other taxa. The highest species richness was recorded in Alangalang (41) and Sta Fe (40), followed by San Miguel and Tacloban with 33 and 26 species. We recorded 18 endemics, five threatened, and 13 migratory bird species. Principal Coordinates Analysis (PCoA) revealed a high degree of dissimilarity in beta diversity among sites. Avian species that are under a threatened category and are Key Biodiversity Area trigger species: Blue-naped Parrot (Tanygnathus lucionensis), Rufous Hornbill (Buceros hydrocorax), Philippine Duck (Anas luzonica), Philippine Hanging-parrot (Loriculus philippensis), and Azure-breasted Pitta (Pitta steerii). LSBP harbored a significantly high number of avian species, thus, their ecological role in terms of habitat refuge and breeding ground for migratory, forest-dependent, threatened, endangered, and critically endangered species and endemics should not be disregarded. The strict protection zone should be established first, especially on the last remaining untouched areas of the peatland, while enhancing the vegetation of those affected ones.
  • Authors: Matutes, H., Agatha Densing, L.
  • Author Affiliation: Visayas State University-Alangalang
  • Subjects: peatlands, ecology, biodiversity conservation, land use change, threatened species, degradation, protected areas
  • Publication type: Journal Article
  • Source: Journal of Wildlife and Biodiversity 6(2): 35-60
  • Year: 2022
  • DOI:
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